The City of Sanford and the Sanford School Department, in partnership with Biddeford Internet Corporation, d/b/a GWI, have launched a WiFi hotspot that is free and open to the public. The hotspot, which utilizes SanfordNet Fiber, the City’s high-speed fiber optic network, is located at the Lafayette School in Sanford. It will be accessible to the public at no cost for the next sixty days.
The “digital divide” has never been more prevalent as society feels the strain from COVID-19 and people are forced to work and go to school from home. It’s become apparent that families are struggling due to a lack of sufficient internet access and people need assistance.
City Manager Steve Buck and School Superintendent Matt Nelson offered this joint assessment: “In these very difficult times we are pleased to have a major telecommunications asset like SanfordNet Fiber in our community. This enables us, with the leadership and support of GWI, to respond quickly with reliable internet service to families in an underserved area of Sanford.”
Kerem Durdag, President and COO of GWI, added: “In the present COVID-19 pandemic crisis, it is our core belief that citizens who are economically vulnerable and do not have internet access need our urgent support.”
The WiFi hotspot will cover the parking lot at the Lafayette School location which will allow people to follow social distancing guidelines by accessing the internet while in their cars.