Mid-Columbia Libraries (MCL), NoaNet, and Paramount Communications have partnered to expand free internet access for residents in Benton County with the recent installation of Wi-Fi hotspots at several MCL branches. Now, residents can enjoy increased broadband at Benton City, Keewaydin Park, Kennewick, and West Richland branches. Prosser library, also part of the MCL system, already offered expanded Wi-Fi.
Increasing Wi-Fi access outside library locations is part of a joint effort to provide free Wi-Fi at strategic points throughout the county for educational purposes. Franklin PUD and Benton PUD provided additional support.
The free Wi-Fi service is available every day from 8 am to 8 pm in the parking and sidewalk areas surrounding buildings. Users can log on from their mobile device or laptop computer. A password is not required.
“Providing computer and internet access is a high priority for MCL,” says MCL Executive Director and Chief Librarian Kyle Cox. “This partnership is an extension of libraries doing our part to expand vital access to technology for our communities.”
“In Benton County and across the state, libraries providing free WiFi hotspots have been a lifeline for many families this year,” says NoaNet Chief Security Officer Mike Henson. “We have been proud to partner with the Mid-Columbia Library system and the Benton Public Utility District to support this effort.”
All Benton County MCL branches are open for “Curbside Plus” services, which includes curbside pickup and online print drop service along with limited public computer use and in-person copying, printing, and scanning. Customers can contact their local branch for computer hours including hours for high-risk individuals, or visit their branch web page to learn more.
The new library hotspots complement existing Benton PUD hotspot locations. Here is the full list:
Mid-Columbia Libraries’ Benton City Branch, 810 Horne Dr. Benton City, WA
Mid-Columbia Libraries’ Keewaydin Branch, 405 S. Dayton St. Kennewick, WA
Mid-Columbia Libraries’ Kennewick Branch, 1620 S. Union St. Kennewick, WA
Old Welch’s Building, 200 N. Washington St. Kennewick, WA (south of Columbia Dr.)
Old Tri-City Herald Building, 10 N. Dayton St. Kennewick, WA (south of the building)
DMV and Verizon Store, 3311 W. Clearwater Ave, Kennewick, WA
Former Subway Restaurant, 7504 W Clearwater Ave. Kennewick, WA
Orchard View Substation, 603 S. Columbia Center Blvd. Kennewick, WA
Housel Middle School, 2001 Highland Dr. Prosser, WA
Mid-Columbia Libraries’ Prosser Branch, 902 7th St. Prosser, WA
Mid-Columbia Libraries’ West Richland Branch, 3803 W. Van Giesen St. West Richland, WA
About Mid-Columbia Libraries
Mid-Columbia Libraries enhances quality of life by providing excellence in books and services for our residents and communities. Since 1949, we have grown to 12 library branches, a Bookmobile, and a digital branch. Today, we offer cardholders systemwide, 24/7 access to more than 400,000 books, audiobooks, magazines, and videos, including more than 100,000 downloadable eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, and streaming video. Visit midcolumbialibraries.org for more information.
NoaNet believes that technology, and broadband specifically, can improve the human experience; connecting communities, creating opportunities, ensuring public safety and empowering change. Community by community, NoaNet provides leading-edge solutions to expand broadband access in telemedicine, agriculture, education, public safety and to support rural economic development opportunities.
This article was released by the Mid-Columbia Library System on December 17, 2020.