The City of Williamsburg will begin distributing free routers next week to any Highland Park resident who wants to participate in a six-month pilot program that provides free broadband service.
To participate in the Highland Park Free Wireless Internet Pilot Program, residents should pick up a free router from a City staff member at the Highland Park picnic shelter at 703 N. Henry St. during one of four distribution events.
- Burbank Street residents: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 1-5 p.m.
- Dunning Street residents: Tuesday, Jan. 19, 8 a.m. to noon
- Roycroft Street residents: Tuesday, Jan. 26, 1 to 5 p.m.
- Henderson Street residents: Tuesday, Feb. 2, 8 a.m. to noon
If residents have a conflict on their designated date for router pick-up, they can attend a later distribution date but are advised against picking up their routers earlier than their designated date.
City staff will not need to enter homes to set up service. The routers, which are preconfigured, should be plugged into power, and then Wifi-enabled devices can connect. City staff will provide instructions and answer questions at the router pickup. Each router will have a data threshold of 25 GB per month; the staff advises participants to monitor usage to stay below the threshold for the best performance.
Participants agree to fill out three surveys over the course of the service to assess the pilot’s success. The six months of free service begins on the day of router pickup for each participant.
The Highland Park Free Wireless Internet Pilot Program is funded through Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Securities (CARES) Act money that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam earmarked for projects that improve broadband access in underserved localities. The City received $192,023 to fund the pilot program.
Highland Park residents with questions about the service can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757-905-6277.