Cooperative Provided Broadband Internet Keeps Education On Track During COVID-19
As rural towns see changes to their daily lives in the face of COVID-19, reliable broadband internet service becomes even more important to residents to stay connected to their community.
In these challenging times, our cooperative principle of Concern for Community has greater meaning than ever before. Across our cooperative family, amazing work is being done by businesses, organizations, and individuals to support our communities in this time of need. As part of this series, we highlight those outstanding people who have gone above and beyond.
Southeast Colorado Power Association's primary mission is to provide high quality, reliable, electric service at a reasonable cost to its members. But of growing importance, especially during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, is another service they offer. SECOM is a provider of high-speed internet, phone and data services in Southern Colorado.
SECOM is helping rural communities link to communication solutions, keeping them connected especially during a time when many are working and learning from home. Reliable, up-to-date internet service is crucial to ensure a seamless connection for those who are working from home and those students who are now learning from a distance.
To learn more about how SECOM is helping keep their students, faculty and school district connected to the community around them, watch the video below.
Distance Learning Relies on Cooperative Powered Broadband
"Our services are critical to daily livelihood, and it's our obligation to be sure that those services were reliable during a time when that was an even greater need." - Jack Johnson, CEO of Southeast Colorado Power Association
Rachael Tamir, 6th grade teacher at Las Animas Elementary School: There's nothing like being in a classroom and connecting with a student. Being able to give 'em a hug or high-five or a pat on the back.
Cameron Frantz, senior at Rocky Ford High School: If we don't get our work in, we won't be able to graduate.
Rachael: We have to find a way to stay connected.
Jack Johnston, CEO of Southeast Colorado Power Association: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have attempted to remain business as usual. We have seen a shift from our services being more of a necessity. We have a great obligation, in the electricity as well as the broadband, to continue to provide those services.
Cameron: Internet, computers, technology, contributes to students, faculty and the school district staying connected to the whole community.
Rachel: This is a wonderful community. When those stay-at-home orders first came about, our community really buckled down and did what needed to be done. The internet companies around here saw education as a priority.
Jack: Our field operations remained constant, and on-call to be able to handle all of the installations and maintenance required.
Rachel: I have daily communication with my students. "Good morning Z, can you tell me some good news?" And so it's really fun to create a new connection through these forms of communication. "I just wanted to let you know that I'm thinking of you, and I'm hoping the best for you."
Cameron: It's really just awesome to see how much the internet has had an impact on us because it's amazing opportunities through the internet that we're provided.
Rachel: These kids are really learning some life skills.
Cameron: It's our responsibility, as students, to keep up on assignments. That's very important because everyone needs to get their work done in order to be successful. I'm just truly grateful that we have essential workers, like we do, working to keep us all connected.
Rachel: We are a family, and we really just want to be there for our students.
Jack: Our services are critical to daily livelihood, and it's our obligation to be sure that those services were reliable during a time when that was even a greater need.
COVID-19 Community Response
As a family of electric cooperatives and public power districts, our distribution members reach consumers at the end of the line, many of whom have been directly impacted by COVID-19. To learn about our response, how our members are responding and the amazing work being done in communities across the West, watch our videos and read the articles here.
Tri-State is a not-for-profit cooperative of 46 members, including 43 member utility electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts in four states, that together deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West. For more information about Tri-State and our Responsible Energy Plan, visit www.tristate.coop.