March 29, 2021 – Free community Wi-Fi installations are available “to connect students and families to the Internet, especially those living in rural and underserved communities,” but the window of opportunity is extremely short.
If you know of any locations that need public Wi-Fi Hot Spots, please ask them to submit their information immediately to: https://www.itdrc.org/covid-19/projectconnect. Installation requests are evaluated based on “need, sustainability, and community impact.” The program includes equipment and installation but does not cover the cost of Internet service.
What’s a Public WiFi Hot Spot and Where Are They?
A hot spot is a location where the public can access the internet, such as the ones Lamoille FiberNet CUD helped Stowe and Morristown libraries install last year. You can look for the hot spots nearest you on this Dept. of Public Service website: https://publicservice.vermont.gov/content/wi-fi-hot-spot-project#listofhotspots.
The COVID-19 pandemic increased the need for access to high-speed Internet connections for healthcare, education, remote work, and government services. At the same time, access to publicly available Internet at libraries, coffee shops, restaurants, etc., is no longer available due to social distancing requirements—leaving a gap for those who lack adequate Internet service at home.
To address this need, the Vermont Department of Public Service contracted for the installation of vehicle-accessible, commercial-grade Wireless Access Points (Wi-Fi Hot Spots) at nearly 200 public locations, such as town halls, community centers, general stores, schools and other community-based locations.
More recently, the Department has been working with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC), a national team of volunteer professionals that, in response to COVID-19, has established projectConnect – a nationwide initiative to provide these free community Wi-Fi installations.
The ITDRC team will be in Vermont for the next two weeks to install at additional locations upon request. ONLINE REQUESTS SHOULD BE SUBMITTED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Public Service Consumer Affairs and Public Information (CAPI) line at 1-800-622-4496.
The mission of Lamoille FiberNet Communications Union District (LFCUD) is to make locally controlled, affordable and reliable high-speed Internet service available to every address in our member towns – Belvidere, Cambridge, Eden, Hyde Park, Johnson, Morristown, Stowe, and Waterville. For more information about Lamoille FiberNet, please go to www.lamoillefiber.net.