The Riviera Telephone Company, Inc. and Gulf Coast Broadband have announced a new program that will provide free internet services to students within their service area as a result of school closures brought about by novel coronavirus concerns.

According to a release sent out Wednesday afternoon, the "Connect Our Students" program will provide internet access to students who may be doing coursework online because of recent campus closures.

"In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak in our country, our educational institutions have been forced to adjust their delivery method to continue their students’ education," the release states. "As such, our public schools are actively working on a solution to convert curriculum to a distance-learning based platform."

There will be no installation charges or monthly recurring service charges throughout the duration of the campus closures. 

In order to receive the free service, students will need to obtain verification of enrollment from their respective schools.

"Understanding that schools are currently closed, and VOE may be difficult to obtain, we are working directly with local school districts to accomplish this requirement," the release states.

The coverage area for RTC includes Riviera, Loyola Beach, Riviera Beach, Sarita and Armstrong.

For GCB coverage areas include Ricardo and limited areas in Kingsville.

The release states in order to maintain social distancing, the companies are asking to "confine as much contact without business of to email and phone contact. 

For more information, contact RTC at (361) 296-3232 or e-mail

For GCB, contact (361) 296-9434 or e-mail

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