The COVID-19 pandemic heightened the need for internet access in rural Oklahoma. Students need to connect to learning, workers need to apply for jobs, patients need access to telehealth, and everyone needs to see family and friends virtually. Working with the Oklahoma State University Agriculture Economics department and OSU Extension, OneNet identified Newkirk in Kay County as a prime community for helping local residents connect to the internet.
OneNet answered the call of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge by offering a Wi-Fi hotspot to the community. Kay County OSU Extension identified the Kay County Courthouse and Kay County OSU Extension Office as an ideal location to host a Wi-Fi hotspot.
- To provide high-speed Wi-Fi, OneNet deployed two Juniper Mist external access points and one Juniper SRX 320 firewall.
- Technicians positioned the equipment to provide access in the north parking lot of the courthouse and in a green belt area on the northeast side of the building.
- In addition to Wi-Fi, OneNet is providing content filtering to meet the requirements of the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
- Residents can park in the north lot of the Kay County Courthouse to access the internet.
- Internet access is free to any resident with a device that connect to Wi-Fi.
- Businesses, schools and organizations are encouraged to utilize the Wi-Fi.
- Thanks to the content filtering, internet access is safe for residents of all ages.
- From 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the internet is available for checking email, searching the internet and watching videos.
- From 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., the internet speed will facilitate HD video, Zoom meetings and streaming video.
“The latest data from the census shows that less than 70% of Kay County households have an internet connection, well below the national average of 83%. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how important a reliable internet connection can be. This Wi-Fi hotspot donated by OneNet demonstrates their commitment to providing connectivity that can improve the quality of life in communities across the state,”
– Dr. Brian Whitacre, Professor in Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University