Olympic Stadium in Hoquiam is the site of a new mobile hotspot installed by the Grays Harbor PUD and other partners. Users can either walk or drive into the parking lot of the Cherry Street landmark, choose the “homeworkhub” Wi-Fi network on their mobile device and receive free access to the PUD fiber network for business, school and a host of other needs.
“Many organizations have come together to make this happen in Grays Harbor and around the state,” said PUD Core Services Director Rob Hanny, whose office oversees the PUD Telecommunications department. “With students headed back to school with remote classrooms, it serves as a reminder of just how important access to online services are.”
The Olympic Stadium site, offered by the City of Hoquiam, joins three drive-up sites that were installed in May at the McCleary City Hall, the Wishkah Valley School, and the Satsop School. Equipment for the four sites has been provided to the utility free of charge by the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center, a private, industry funded disaster relief organization while the bandwidth is being offered by Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet).
The local access is part of a larger, statewide effort to provide free Wi-Fi access to Washington residents that began at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Partners in the state’s drive-in Wi-Fi hotspots project include: Washington State University; Washington State Library, part of the Washington Office of the Secretary of State; members of the Washington Public Utility Districts Association (WPUDA) and NoaNet; the Washington State Broadband Office; Washington Independent Telecommunications Association (WITA); Washington Technology Solutions (WaTech); and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).
To date, well over 100 of the new drive-in hotspots are operational, in addition to 301 existing Washington State Library hotspots identified across the state. All told, some 600 public hotspots will soon be available to keep Washington communities connected.
For complete information and a map of locations, visit www.driveinwifi.wa.gov. The map will be updated as more sites come online.