DRN Offers Free Internet and Telephone Service During COVID-19 Pandemic and Weak Farm Economy

  • Date: March 19, 2020
  • Author: DRN Marketing

An update to an earlier news release. 

As social distancing and remote work are a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, DRN is responding to support its rural cooperative territory with free Internet and phone service in April. DRN serves an area already hard hit by the recent struggling farm economy.

In addition to a free month of Internet and telephone service for cooperative members, DRN is participating in the FCC’s Keep American Connected Pledge to not disconnect phone or broadband service and to waive any late fees associated with non-payment during this time to any residential and small business customers.

“We, as a telecommunication cooperative, felt the need to help our friends and neighbors out during this weak farm economy and the global health crisis,” said Ralph Neu, DRN board president.” DRN responded with ‘Concern for the Community,’ a cooperative principle in the face of the virus pandemic and slow economy. The cooperative is also working with schools and businesses to make the transition to work and learn from home as smooth as possible. “Offering a free month of Internet and phone service is our response to relieve some of the financial burden to our members,” said DRN CEO/GM Kent Schimke.

“As the need has grown for remote interaction during the pandemic, broadband service is top of mind for many people. We have worked hard over the past 20 years to make sure we have the best network available to our members and feel we have one of the most robust networks in the country.  We recently completed a project that gives our network backbone a 100-gigabit capacity. DRN’s network is ready to handle the additional broadband utilization that may be placed on it because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Schimke.

“We understand this is a trying time. We want all our members to know as a cooperative we are committed to the needs of everyone: farmers and ranchers, schools, hospitals, first responders, small business owners, and individuals,” said Neu.

Members will notice a credit on their April 2020 statements. Cooperative members will receive $22.50 credit for their landline telephone and depending upon their Internet service level agreement, will be credited $37.04 to $149.99. Separate service items including Caller ID, TV service, long-distance charges, fees and taxes will still apply.

DRN ReadiTech is committed to the needs of its customers as this dynamic situation evolves. Customers with questions or concerns regarding their telephone or broadband service, may call 344-5000 or go online to www.drnreaditech.coop.