New Castle County launches free WiFi hotspots during COVID-19 pandemic
New Castle County announced WiFi hotspots at various locations in the county to help those without internet access at home.
With more and more families working and doing schoolwork from home during the coronavirus pandemic, the eight hotspots offer needed internet access.
"We recognize that there are families in our community who do not have reliable internet access so we're doing our small part by making parking lots outside areas outside a number of County buildings available with free reliable and secure internet access," said County Executive Matt Meyer.
Meyer says his IT staff came up with the hotspot idea.
"They proposed the idea to me 7 days ago, and I told them make it happen and make it happen as quickly as possible," said Meyer. "The first sites were up within 72 hours. They had to add to the hardware to the outside of a number of buildings, obviously hardware that can take some weather take some rain and things like that and then some testing. We've rolled out I believe eight sites today and we're continuing to add additional sites."
The county partnered with Verizon and Assurance Media and Cisco-Meraki to create the hotspots, and if you go to one, you need to use your own devices.
The sites are at county facilities, parks and libraries in Wilmington, New Castle, Middletown, Bear and Newark.
Social distancing rules apply at the sites. You have to stay in your car, or if you’re not in your car, stay at least six feet away from others.
If you don’t follow those simple rules, Meyer says the county will act.
"Like with the playgrounds and with the basketball courts, if there's any gatherings that result from this that do not respect physical distancing, we will very quickly shut this down."
The county expects to add more WiFi hotspots soon.
The current locations are:
- NCC Government Center (87 Reads Way, New Castle 19720)
- NCC Gilliam Building (77 Reads Way, New Castle 19720)
- Garfield Park PAL (26 Karlyn Dr, New Castle DE 19720)
- Banning Park Maintenance Base (102 Middleboro Rd, Wilmington, 19804)
- Kimberton Police Academy (201 Kimberton Drive, Newark 19713)
- EMS Base 5 Parking Lot (North Broad Street, Middletown)
- Kirkwood Library (6000 Kirkwood Hwy, Wilmington, DE)
- Bear Library rear parking lot (101 Governors Place, Bear)
More information is available at wifi.nccde.org.