In response to an urgent need for internet access points in the community during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Lewis County PUD is partnering with ToledoTel, a local and family-owned telecom and broadband provider, to establish six (6) strategically located wireless internet access points in the community. The six wireless access points, also known as WiFi hotspots, will be free and open to the public. The locations chosen for these access points were based on utilizing existing broadband infrastructure, and an analysis of data by the Center on Rural Innovation which identified the areas of the county with low levels of student internet connectivity. Locations include:
- Winlock Skate Park: King Rd & NW Dexter Ave; Winlock, WA 98596
- Stanley Store/Ethel Grange: Brim Road and U.S. Highway 12; Onalaska, WA 98570
- Salkum Location: To Be Determined
- Valley View: 233 Williams Street; Mossyrock, WA 98564
- Lewis County PUD Morton Office: 240 7th Street; Morton, WA 98356
- Randle Substation: 279 Kehoe Road; Randle, WA 98377
These WiFi hotspots give those without internet in their homes an opportunity to connect to critical services and online learning while practicing social distancing. A resolution approved by the Lewis County PUD Commission on April 21 authorized the District to enter into agreements and activities that enable this service.
“Our PUD continues to receive requests for internet access during this difficult time. Students are attempting to learn remotely, and we as a community are being asked to stay home. Now, more than ever, every one of us needs access to the web. The partnership with ToledoTel will make this happen,” said Chris Roden, General Manager of Lewis County PUD.
Six access points will be available to the public free of charge on or near May 8 and are scheduled to remain available through 2020.