The City of Covington is looking for "hotspot hosts" to help its schoolchildren learn and their families "get ahead."
All that's required?
A small area on the outside of your house or business on which to mount equipment about the size of a volleyball.
As part of its $2.5 million "Covington Connect" campaign to smash the digital divide, the City and its partners are looking for property owners willing to establish wireless access points and help create zones of internet connectivity.
"It's an incredibly exciting project that will literally change the trajectory of people's lives," Assistant City Manager Bruce Applegate said. "But for geographical reasons, we can't do it alone."
In partnership with schools and others, "Covington Connect" calls for establishing 116 such "hotspots" around the City, strategically located to reach the greatest number of children in the school systems.
The City continues to sign up property owners whose buildings were specifically identified as being the most beneficial to the greatest number of students, many of whom spend at least some of their school time doing distance learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the City is opening up the process to let anybody "volunteer" their home or business as the physical base for the device.
To do so, email Pete Bales, a consultant hired to coordinate the Covington Connect initiative, at email@example.com
. He can also answer questions.
Once on the list, your home's location will be evaluated by a team of technology experts. If selected, you will need to sign a short legal agreement and let the device be attached to your house and power supply.
Timing is critical, both because the school year continues to march on, and because the federal funding that is largely supporting this project has strict deadlines for use, Bales said.
For more information on "Covington Connect," which was announced July 8, see HERE
Already, the City and its partners have already passed out over 400 free desktop computers to families with schoolkids ... equipped the City Heights and Latonia Terrace housing complexes with Wi-Fi ... and have agreements for four dozen or more wireless access points.
"This truly presents an opportunity for people to make a difference," Applegate said.