County, City Of Wilmington Announce 27 More Drive-Up WIFI Hotspots

County Executive Meyer announces 12 additional ‘drive-thru’ wi-fi hotspots in New Castle County bringing total to 22 sites

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, in partnership with Delaware Division of Libraries, University of Delaware, Verizon, Assurance Media, Cisco-Meraki and the New Castle County Information Systems and Public Works departments, have more than doubled New Castle County’s free ‘drive thru’ wi-fi hotspots bringing the total locations to 22.

As an added feature, New Castle County worked with University of Delaware to provide eduroam (education roaming), which is a secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community. Having started in Europe, eduroam has gained momentum throughout the research and education community and is now available in over 100 territories. Eduroam allows students, researchers and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity across campus and when visiting other participating institutions by simply opening their laptop.

The New Castle County hotspot locations include: Banning Park Maintenance Base, Bear Library, Claymont Library, Hockessin PAL Center, Police Academy, Government Center, Garfield PAL, EMS 5 – Middletown, Absalom Jones, Kirkwood Library, Gilliam Building, Hockessin Library, Newark Free Library, North Wilmington Branch Library, Woodlawn Library, Elsmere Public Library, Glasgow Park – Frasier House, Route 9 Library, Brandywine Hundred Library, Delaware City Library, Corbit-Calloway Library, and New Castle Public Library.

“We are seeing solid usage data across most of our wi-fi hotspot locations, so we decided to add more opportunity to those who need to access broadband internet,” County Executive Matt Meyer said. “As we head into our fifth week of quarantine, it’s important we continue to offer basic necessity like wi-fi is a growing necessity for job search, for schoolwork, and for maintaining communication with family and friends.”

Yesterday Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki announced that five FREE WiFi sites are available around Wilmington to assist students with their studies in the era of COVID-19. Wilmington has partnered with WhyFly, a City-based technology company, and received permission from host sites to install the WiFi hot spots so that the service is available in the parking lots at each site.

Mayor Purzycki today thanked WhyFly CEO Mark Thompson and his team for working with the City on this project, noting that the City-based company is always eager to step forward to help in the community. “ WhyFly is pleased to help Wilmington students keep up with their studies during this time of crisis”, said Thompson. “When the City asked us to set up these WiFi hotspots, we quickly added new capacity to our network.”

The Mayor said the hotspots will be available for at least three months to help students access educational materials until regular school classes resume. Currently, Delaware schools are closed at least through May 15 as part of Delaware’s COVID-19 State of Emergency.

The network ID at each location is “City of Wilmington” and no password is needed to log in.

The WiFi hotspots are in the parking lots of the following locations:
76ers Fieldhouse, at 401 Garasches Lane, Wilmington, DE 19801
Kingswood Community Center, at 2300 Bowers St., Wilmington, DE 19802
Teen Warehouse, at 1121 Thatcher St., Wilmington, DE 19802
William ‘Hicks’ Anderson Community Center, at 501 N. Madison St., Wilmington, DE 19801
People’s Settlement Association, at 408 E. 8th St., Wilmington, DE 19801

Mayor Purzycki said there are a few important rules that students must follow in order to access the WiFi sites, which include:
Requiring students who drive to a site to remain in their vehicles for the duration of internet usage
Requiring students who walk or take public transportation to a site to remain at least six feet away from others and urging them to wear a mask or a mouth/nose covering
The sites will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week. The Mayor stressed that the WiFi hot spots are for City students so they can access their study materials, but the sites are available to the public in general if the sites can assist residents with issues or information related to COVID-19.

County Executive Meyer also reminded users to remain in their cars, and if physical distancing is not respected in areas around County buildings, New Castle County will deactivate hotspots. Hours of the hotspots coincide with library operations hours.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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