Wi-Fi Hotspots Setting Up Around Jackson County

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County officials, schools, and businesses are stepping up to fill the gaps in internet access around Jackson County to aid citizens and students during the COVID-19 crisis.

The Jackson County Information Technology team is in the process of installing external router equipment to provide access in parking lots at the Cashiers Recreation Center, Cullowhee Recreation Center, and Mark Watson Park.

The timetable calls for these sites to be operational by April 8 or 9, 2020, barring unforeseen issues. Jackson County Public Schools are awaiting the arrival of equipment to create Wi-Fi zones in parking lots at each school in the county. SkyFi has also set up a hot spot in the parking area of Sylva Plaza. Southwestern Community College is offering wireless internet access in parking areas surrounding the Burrell, Bradford, Founders and Oaks buildings, in addition to the Balsam Center parking lot near the Student Services offices.

A statement from SCC cautions that it doesn’t endorse any non-college associated Wi-Fi networks, and advises against entering personal information such as Social Security numbers or banking information into public networks.

The Jackson County Public Library public Wi-Fi extends around the perimeter of library buildings and can generally be picked up from sections of the parking lots.

The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce has opened its Wi-Fi to students without internet access, with the signal reaching from the parking lot behind the chamber to the town fountain and down Main Street to Fusions Spa.

Julie Donaldson, Chamber Director, offered a “special thanks to (Jackson County Economic Development Director) Rich Price for spearheading this project and moving it forward. Rich worked long hours and with all of the providers listed to make this happen.” When visiting any of the sites for access, remember to practice wise social distancing.