Rural communities continue to be left in the dark when it comes to internet access, a problem further highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic.
Wayne County is striving to address its internet shortcomings with its continuing partnership with Open Broadband, LLC.
Open Broadband CEO Alan Fitzpatrick provided the latest update on the wireless internet project over-the-phone to the Wayne County Commissioners last week.
Among the latest developments, Fitzpatrick says Open Broadband is offering free public Wi-Fi zones in the downtown areas of Mount Olive and Seven Springs.
While demand is high, Fitzpatrick says the challenge remains securing funds for the necessary infrastructure for the wireless broadband upgrades.
Open Broadband is looking at grant opportunities to assist in the effort, possibly through the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ACT).
When speaking about the needed infrastructure, Wayne County Manager Craig Honeycutt told the county board that “if you build it, they will come.”
Fitzpatrick says the next step is addressing broadband internet access in the Grantham area where there has been a high demand for the service.
Residents can learn more about Open Broadband’s locally-available internet services on the company’s website.