How NewWave Communications Stepped Up Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 4, 2020 • Devin Partida

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The coronavirus outbreak is demonstrating just how vital the internet is to modern life.

More employees are working online than ever before. For many, it’s unsafe to visit even just one friend. Advanced age, a compromised immune system and other risk factors make it dangerous to go outside or host visitors.

Doctors, unable to safely keep their practices open, are turning to telehealth and telemedicine services. The internet has quickly become an essential tool for almost every American, whether they need it to keep working or to stay in touch with their friends and family.

The crisis, as a result, has caused a new push for expanded rural internet and led some municipalities to say that high-speed internet is essential and “critical to life-sustaining services.”

In response, some internet providers are offering community relief to help keep people connected. NewWave Communications is a high-speed internet and broadband provider with a footprint that reaches across Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and much of the midwest. The company has launched several community relief programs to help keep people online even if their ability to pay for high-speed internet has been impacted by reduced hours or an inability to work safely.

NewWave Communications Offers Community Relief During Coronavirus Outbreak

The company’s relief efforts include a few different programs designed to improve access to high-speed internet connections.

In early March, the company made unlimited data available on all of its internet plans through May 12. The company also waived all late fees for 60 days. Later that month, the company also announced that it was launching a low-cost plan designed to help families in need. The plan, which provides speeds of up to 15 Mbps, costs just $10 per month and would be available for 60 days.

While the plan is targeted at low-income families and students impacted by the crisis, the company also said that it would not require documentation to sign up for the plan.

To help handle the strain caused by increased demand, the company is also directing resources towards testing, monitoring and enhancing its systems. In a statement, Ken Johnson, senior vice president of NewWave’s technology services, said that “we’re experiencing increased usage but the impact on our network continues to be manageable.”

NewWave also announced that it would provide more than 120 Wi-Fi hotspots for those who don’t have other sources of internet access. The hotspots, located in NewWave office parking lots across the company’s footprint, are free to access.

In addition to this internet-focused community relief, NewWave is also providing assistance in other ways.

The company has also made significant donations to local organizations providing food and food delivery services. In early April, the company donated $150,000 to the Meals on Wheels COVID-19 Response Program plus an additional $150,000 to local food banks in markets served by NewWave and its parent company, Cable One.

Some company associates are also helping out with smaller-scale relief efforts, including sewing masks for first responders and sending hot meals directly to hospitals and fire stations.

Community Relief Efforts Help Keep People Online

The internet is likely to remain extremely important to most Americans for the next few months.

While some states are beginning to reopen their economies, many people are continuing to stay home out of caution for their health or the health of others. The internet will be the only option for those who remain home and want to work or keep in touch with friends and family.

Community relief efforts, like NewWave’s, will stay relevant as well. Internet access remains spotty, and cost will continue to be a significant barrier to access for those who can’t return to work.

These relief efforts can provide a valuable lifeline and help keep community members connected to each other, even when it’s not safe to leave the house.



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