Mid-Columbia Libraries, NoaNet, and Paramount Communications Partner to Expand Free Internet Access at Libraries in Benton County
Mid-Columbia Libraries (MCL), NoaNet, and Paramount Communications have partnered to expand free internet access for residents in Benton County with the recent installation of Wi-Fi hotspots at several MCL branches. Now, residents can enjoy increased broadband at Benton City, Keewaydin Park, Kennewick, and West Richland branches. Prosser library, also part of the MCL system, already offered expanded Wi-Fi.
Increasing Wi-Fi access outside library locations is part of a joint effort to provide free Wi-Fi at strategic points throughout the county for educational purposes. Franklin PUD and Benton PUD provided additional support.
The free Wi-Fi service is available every day from 8 am to 8 pm in the parking and sidewalk areas surrounding buildings. Users can log on from their mobile device or laptop computer. A password is not required.
“Providing computer and internet access is a high priority for MCL,” says MCL Executive Director and Chief Librarian Kyle Cox. “This partnership is an extension of libraries doing our part to expand vital access to technology for our communities.”
“In Benton County and across the state, libraries providing free WiFi hotspots have been a lifeline for many families this year," says NoaNet Chief Security Officer Mike Henson. "We have been proud to partner with the Mid-Columbia Library system and the Benton Public Utility District to support this effort.”
All Benton County MCL branches are open for “Curbside Plus” services, which includes curbside pickup and online print drop service along with limited public computer use and in-person copying, printing, and scanning. Customers can contact their local branch for computer hours including hours for high risk individuals, or visit their branch web page to learn more.
The new library hotspots complement existing Benton PUD hotspot locations. Here is the full list:
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