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School offers free drive-in Wi-Fi to students, community

MANSFIELD — To allow students and community members access to the internet while promoting social distancing, Mansfield University Campus Technologies is providing drive-up Wi-FI at some locations on their campus.

“We understand not everyone has internet access in their home and a lot of people rely on public businesses or the library, and the situation may not be available to them and we realize how important it is for people and our students,” said Ryan McNamara, director of marketing and communications.

The low-population and mountainous terrain has contributed to many areas in and around the borough to have limited or no connection, he said.

“In our area, being so rural, broadband internet access is a challenge,” said McNamara. “That’s the reason why some students remain on our campus, because they do not have broadband internet access to complete their education at home.”

“We just want to be a source of accessibility to the community,” he added.

Allowing for the community may stem the spread of COVID-19 by keeping residents from finding other ways of entertainment than congregating with other people, he said.

Anyone in need of access to the internet can drive-up to many of the parking lots and connect to the Mounties Mobile Guest wireless network free of charge.

McNamara said campus police had told him that the service has been well received by members of the community.

“Anyone utilizing Mansfield University Wi-Fi is asked to maintain proper social distancing measures while on campus. Visitors should not use any of the residence hall parking lots,” said a press release.

Wi-Fi is available at the following locations:

• Parking lots: Butler Center, Steadman Theatre, Allen Hall (between Allen Hall and Van Norman Field entry gates), Clinton Street (between Laurel Hall and Pinecrest Hall)

• Stadium Drive (Between Decker Gymnasium and Van Norman Field)

• Along Retan Hall and Belknap Hall

• Straughn Hall Drive

• Along both sides of Kelchner Fitness Center (Academy Street and Clinton Street)

“Making campus Wi-Fi more accessible allows our friends in the community to continue accessing important information online,” said Mansfield University president Charles Patterson in the press release.

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