ALEXANDER COUNTY, NC (March 27, 2020) — With the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak forcing public schools to close, more students are doing homework online and participating in virtual classroom settings. To ensure broadband internet access is available to local students, Alexander County Government, Alexander County EDC, and Open Broadband LLC joined forces to establish a centrally located public Wi-Fi hotspot at the Alexander County Courthouse in downtown Taylorsville.
The Wi-Fi network is named “Open Alexander.” Those who park or locate nearest to the courthouse will have the best service, although the network should cover the entire courthouse block and somewhat beyond. The hotspot will be available until Alexander County Schools students are able to return to the classroom. To ensure that the bandwidth is available to support academic needs, please refrain from streaming long videos or movies.
Recommendations in the interest of public safety:
• Users should remain in their vehicles while using the site.
• Users should be cognizant of the amount of time they are parked at the location to allow access to others.
• Utilize sites during daylight hours only.
• Notify law enforcement of any suspicious activity. Local law enforcement will be made aware of the location to monitor activity.
Open Broadband LLC is currently conducting a pilot program in Alexander County to provide quality broadband internet service at a reasonable price with no contracts to households in need. If interested in Open Broadband’s services, join the waiting list at www.openbb.net/alexanderco, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (919) 205-5400.
Open Broadband LLC will update the following maps as new public WiFi locations are added:
About the Broadband Pilot Program
In early 2019, the Alexander County EDC applied for and received a $50,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to help fund the pilot program. The EDC then issued a request for proposals in March 2019 to find an Internet Service Provider (ISP) with the best plan, qualifications, and price point. Upon review of the proposals, the EDC Board of Directors approved a contract with Open Broadband to conduct the pilot program. Per the contract, Open Broadband provided a $50,000 match to the ARC grant, and Alexander County Government contributed $36,470 to the project.