KanOkla Networks has always been highly dedicated to reinvesting in the rural South Central Kansas and North Central Oklahoma communities it serves with phone, Internet and a host of other services.
“We’re trying to build that relationship with the community and the customer,” said Eric Eaton, marketing manager for KanOkla. “We are a member-owned cooperative, so we do a lot for the communities we serve, and especially our wired communities.”
While the services offered look very different than they once did, that commitment to local service has remained constant throughout the years.
“We started as a phone cooperative because the bigger companies would not come out and serve the rural areas,” Eaton said.
KanOkla started in Anthony and moved to its present headquarters in Caldwell in 1991. As technology needs changed, KanOkla continually updated the services it provided and now specializes in Internet, but also offers a full suite of business and residential services.
“We market ourselves now as a broadband company,” Eaton said. “That’s the demand nowadays. Everyone wants Internet use, and we’ve updated our entire phone network around south-central Kansas for fiber to the home.”
Additionally, KanOkla has expanded its service network around the region with fixed wireless broadband, in which a tower or antenna is used to deliver wireless service to surrounding homes or businesses.
The efforts have paid off, with a 10-year increase in customers from 631 in 2008 to 3,467 at the end of 2017.
Throughout the years, cooperatives such as KanOkla have also become adept at diversifying products and services, and that commitment has been a driving force in the company’s choice to develop out a fleet of business and individual services.
“We try to be the one-stop shop for businesses and residents,” Eaton said. “From a business standpoint, not only do we have the high-speed Internet connection, but we have security and IP camera systems. Additionally, our KanOkla Design Studio offers print and website design and video production.”
Additionally, the growth has allowed KanOkla to reinvest in the people within its region through scholarships, sending students on the FRS youth tour to Washington D.C. and offering matching-funds grants to nonprofits.
For more information, please visit www.kanokla.com.