— press release
Warren County now has public WIFI at two of its parks – the Warren County Recreation Complex in Warrenton and the Magnolia Ernest Recreation Park in the Soul City community.
The service at the Warren County Recreation Complex, located on the Hwy 158 Bypass, was funded directly by the county using CARES Act funding for equipment and installation; the county will cover service costs.
The WIFI zone at the Magnolia Ernest Recreation Park is a part of Governor Cooper’s NC Student Connect Initiative with the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The program provides 12 months of unlimited data service for each site.
Those using the WIFI at the park in Soul City, located on Duke Drive, should park in the pull-off area in front of the pool house for the best service.
“This public WIFI initiative is especially important in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. As a rural community, these additional options are a great start until our countywide broadband efforts are realized,” said County Manager Vincent Jones.
“We appreciate the partnerships and support from Interim EDC Director, Charla Duncan, and the Governor’s Office in helping our residents.”
The NC Student Connect program is designed specifically to help students who live in areas that are inaccessible for broadband and cell service. These students, especially during the pandemic, are struggling to maintain quality education due to lack of internet. While students are the top priority, the broader communities can also benefit from the service.
The device will not be password protected; however, the WIFI is content filtered and is CIPA compliant. This means that users will not be able to access inappropriate content.
“Providing access to internet is a priority identified by the Warren County Board of Commissioners,” stated Jones.
Warren County is currently awaiting the end of the quiet period for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction from the FCC. On February 1st the county’s plan is to move forward in discussion with the winner of that federal funding for Warren County unserved census tracts.
For more information, contact the Warren County Manager’s Office at 252-257-3115 or Charla Duncan at Warren County Economic Development at 252-257-3114.