Mobile hotspots available for rental at Scenic Regional Library branches

Posted 9/30/20

Scenic Regional Library now has mobile hotspots available for checkout at all branches.

The purpose of the mobile hotspots is to provide free wireless Internet at home for people to use with their …

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Mobile hotspots available for rental at Scenic Regional Library branches

Posted

Scenic Regional Library now has mobile hotspots available for checkout at all branches.

The purpose of the mobile hotspots is to provide free wireless Internet at home for people to use with their laptop or mobile device. People can use the Internet access for a wide range of needs, from telehealth (doctor’s appointments) and virtual meetings to distance learning and emailing.

The devices will check out for two weeks, with no renewals allowed. Patrons can place a hold or request on a hotspot if they’re all checked out.

The first 42 devices arrived at the branches in late August. The remaining 12 will be placed within the next few weeks. If demand warrants, the library will add 36 additional devices this fall, which would increase the total available to 90.

The library received $15,000 through a CARES Act grant which will fund the data costs for 42 of the 90 mobile hotspots in FY2020-21. A second CARES Act grant is pending, which will fund an additional 12 devices.

While there is no cost to the library for the actual devices; the data costs are $30 per month for each device. The carrier is T-Mobile. After FY2020-21, the library will have to fund the full data costs for all 90 devices, as the grant funding will end. The total data costs will be $32,400 for FY2021-22.

Many public libraries across the country and state have been taking advantage of CARES Act funding and adding mobile hotspots this summer.

Library sees big demand for wireless hotspots

The library began checking out mobile hotspots in late August. Within the first two weeks, all 42 devices were checked out and there was a waiting list of 16 people. The library purchased an additional 18 devices in mid-September.

The hotspots can provide internet access for up to 15 devices at one time.

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