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Free 'Hot Spots' Accessible at Graves Schools
By Paul Schaumburg, Graves County Schools
GRAVES COUNTY - Graves County School District administrators recently met with West Kentucky and Tennessee Telecommunications officials and Graves County Fiscal Court commissioners. They noted completion of the installation of free internet-connecting "hot spots" at the district's central campus and at the six elementary schools located throughout the county. 

Now connected are elementary schools at Fancy Farm, Farmington, Lowes, Sedalia, Symsonia, and Wingo, and the high school which also serves the middle school and Central Elementary School. 

WK&T operations manager Stacey Riley said, "Families who don't have internet can drive into the parking lot, connect to the internet, and do whatever work they need to do from their vehicles. It's all wireless, providing access to those who don't have it at home."

"The Graves County Fiscal Court has been collaborating on this project with us for more than a year," said Trevor Bonnstetter, chief executive officer of WK&T, "to try to figure out ways to provide more internet access to the citizens of Graves County because there are a lot of areas that have no access whatsoever."

He continued, "When this (COVID-19 situation) happened and the schools closed, we reached out to the fiscal court to ask if they thought we should go ahead and implement one of the first phases of the project we've been discussing. They agreed. So, I called (Graves County) Superintendent Madding, asking whether we could work on this together. We're really appreciative to be part of the solution for kids who have no internet connectivity and citizens who have no connectivity otherwise."

Bonnstetter concluded, "A lot of people are used to working from their offices, who've been sent home, and they need to be able to download spreadsheets or projects they're doing for their work. Some people still have their jobs because of connectivity. Now, these hot spots are available throughout Graves County at schools."

"We've been trying to work on for the last couple of years, connecting to the internet from spots in Graves County that need them the most," said Graves County Commissioner Todd Hayden. "We've been having meetings on this in recent months. We started making more progress. Then, when the coronavirus hit, it created even more of a need to get those hot spots out there, especially for those kids who live in the rural areas and don't have internet service. Hopefully, we'll get internet around to all the houses in the next few months and that should help out a lot."

"We're very appreciative of WK&T and their work to try to make sure all our students have access to the internet, especially during this time when we can't go into our classrooms," said Graves County Schools Superintendent Matthew Madding. "The fact that they're willing to put these hot spots up free of charge for anyone who needs to use them at all of our elementary schools is a great extension of their network, but also of our students' connectivity."

 


Published 08:09 AM, Wednesday Mar. 25, 2020
Updated 10:39 AM, Wednesday Mar. 25, 2020

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