Free wifi hotspots installed around the Town of Navassa

Free wifi hotspots installed around the Town of Navassa
Updated: Jun. 17, 2020 at 3:26 PM EDT
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NAVASSA, N.C. (WECT) - In small towns, like Navassa, internet is harder to come by. But now, there will soon be four wifi hotspots around the Brunswick County town.

“One of the goals that I’ve had and one of the goals the town has had is to be able to provide some kind of internet capability to the young folks,” said Mayor Eulis Willis.

Willis has been working on getting free, public wifi to the town for ten years. Willis said he felt like the kids in town were at a disadvantage not only in school, but in life as well.

“I was afraid that a lot of my kids would be left behind because they don’t have access to the internet,” said Willis. “That’s not because the service isn’t available in the town itself, but most of the folks can’t afford internet in their homes.”

Willis did some searching and came across an international disaster firm called Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC.)

Everyday for the last ten weeks, Dennis Kenyon and five other men have been traveling all over the country installing free wifi to under served communities for a program called projectConnect.

“We’re traveling the country setting up, bringing wifi from existing internet so kids can come into the parking and lot do school work and the community can get wifi throughout the area,” said Kenyon.

Other companies have donated money to ITDRC which allows the wifi to be free for these towns. It hosts a program called “Project-Connect” -- which provides internet to under served communities for no cost at all

“We’re just happy to be able to give back to the community,” said Kenyon. “Help the kids get back to school and give the adults wifi as well.”

Willis says the new wifi hotspots is just one part of what he envisions for Navassa.

“I’ve been trying to make sure that we attract some industry here,” said Willis. “We’ve been successful in getting some smaller warehouses and people coming, but one of the problems that we’ve got is some of the places that are really attractive for them; it’s got access to I-140, it’s got access to the railroad, it’s access to the river, it’s got access to everything except inter-connectivity.”

The hotspots will be located at the community center, town hall, and two parks in town.

Navassa is the first town in the southeast that ITDRC has brought free wifi to.

To learn more about ITDRC’s projectConnect, visit their website.

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