Buhler’s IdeaTek gets presidential shoutout for free internet service

Buhler-based internet provider IdeaTek received a shout-out this week from President Joe Biden during a press conference at the White House on an initiative to bring free or reduced-price internet service to those who struggle to afford it.

IdeaTek is one of about 20 providers in the nation participating in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, or ACP, and the only Kansas-based one.

The company has participated in the program since it was started in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it is expanding the effort further as additional federal funding was authorized, said Jade Piros de Carvalho, the company’s director of industry & community relations.

Under the program, the federal government will cover $30 a month for service for those who qualify.

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IdeaTek is taking that a step further, picking up the extra $20 for its monthly basic service fee to make it free to a significant number of users. They are also waiving installation costs.

IdeaTek, headquartered in Buhler, continues to expand throughout Kansas.

The program includes speeds of up to 100 Mbps in both fiber and wireless areas. In addition, there are no caps on data usage and no throttling during peak hours. Qualifying residents will also receive free installation.

“Being connected is essential,” said IdeaTek Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Daniel Friesen. “Our mission for internet freedom means we believe everyone should have access to fast, reliable internet and the opportunities it provides, even when the budget is tight.”

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