Mayor Mike Purzycki announced that, beginning today, five FREE WiFi sites are available around Wilmington to assist students with their studies in the era of COVID-19. Wilmington has partnered with WhyFly, a Local Internet Service Provider, and received permission from host sites to install the WiFi hot spots so that the service is available in the parking lots at each site.
Mayor Purzycki today thanked WhyFly CEO Mark Thompson and his team for working with the City on this project, noting that the City-based company is always eager to step forward to help in the community. “ WhyFly is pleased to help Wilmington students keep up with their studies during this time of crisis”, said Thompson. “When the City asked us to set up these WiFi hotspots, we quickly added new capacity to our network.”
The Mayor said the hotspots will be available for at least three months to help students access educational materials until regular school classes resume. Currently, Delaware schools are closed at least through May 15 as part of Delaware’s COVID-19 State of Emergency.
The network ID at each location is “City of Wilmington” and no password is needed to log in.
The WiFi hotspots are in the parking lots of the following locations:
- 76ers Fieldhouse, at 401 Garasches Lane, Wilmington, DE 19801
- Kingswood Community Center, at 2300 Bowers St., Wilmington, DE 19802
- Teen Warehouse, at 1121 Thatcher St., Wilmington, DE 19802
- William 'Hicks’ Anderson Community Center, at 501 N. Madison St., Wilmington, DE 19801
- People’s Settlement Association, at 408 E. 8th St., Wilmington, DE 19801
Mayor Purzycki said there are a few important rules that students must follow in order to access the WiFi sites, which include:
- Requiring students who drive to a site to remain in their vehicles for the duration of internet usage
- Requiring students who walk or take public transportation to a site to remain at least six feet away from others and urging them to wear a mask or a mouth/nose covering
The sites will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week. The Mayor stressed that the WiFi hot spots are for City students so they can access their study materials, but the sites are available to the public in general if the sites can assist residents with issues or information related to COVID-19.
Visit ConnectKidsNow.org for more information on how you can help family get connected and receive a device to eliminate the digital divide.
Qualified families will receive a router and high speed internet connection from WhyFly. There is no fee for the service through the end of 2020. months. A WhyFly technician will come to the home, install the connection and train the caretaker on how to use it. Technicians will wear protective masks and gloves and hand wipe all surfaces in accordance with CDC guidelines.
Connect Kids Now is seeking donations from individuals, government grants and foundations. Individuals can donate by credit card by clicking the donate button.
WhyFly is donating $450 towards the cost of the free internet at homes. per year. Participating companies are also donating their services. Through a partnership with local company NERDiT, you may have seen them on ABC's Shark Tank, kids & families are able to receive free computers for a donation between $135 - $325 depending on speed & educational requirements. Donations are processed through the Delaware Gives platform, a fundraising and event registration platform operated by Spur Impact Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.