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02-Apr-2020Internet Accessibility Through Wireless Hotspots

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tish Blackwell, 800-846-2272 (tblackwell@barcelectric.com)

 

BARC Connects Deploys 4 Wireless Hotspots across Rockbridge County to Assist Students During Pandemic

BARC recognizes that many students in the community do not have access to high-speed Internet at home, and with Virginia schools now closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, many students need online access to complete coursework. To help all local students,  BARC Connects has deployed free wireless hotspots throughout Rockbridge County to help provide this access to students in these unprecedented times. 

This week, BARC Connects opened up wireless hotspots at four different Rockbridge County Public School (RCPS) parking lots: Mountain View Elementary, Fairfield Elementary, Natural Bridge Elementary, and Rockbridge County High School. BARC’s intent is to offer Internet access at convenient points across the county. Students and parents can practice social distancing by accessing the Internet in the safety of their own vehicle in the parking lot of any of these schools. 

“We have made accessing the wireless service simple. When a user first connects their device, the user will see a splash screen with our logo and the name “BARC-PUBLIC-WIFI. Once the user accepts the terms and conditions of service, it is ready to go,” said Gary Sickler, BARC Connects Network Operations Manager. “There is no password necessary. “ 

BARC staff, in coordination with the Rockbridge Area Network Authority (RANA), and the Rockbridge County Public School System (RCPS) worked together in identifying locations for access points. All partners expect users of this public WIFI to adhere to state guidelines and practice social distancing and not congregate. 

“Our free hotspots are open to all students and parents in the region. We chose to partner with RANA and RCPS in order to cover a larger geographic area, and selected schools based on parking lot size and WiFi coverage,” said Mike Keyser, BARC CEO.

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