Montgomery Co. selects 10 public libraries to receive free outdoor internet

Using COVID-19 relief funding provided to Maryland by the federal government, Montgomery County is bringing free outdoor Wi-Fi to 10 public libraries.

The free service will be available 24 hours a day in parking lots adjacent to select libraries, with the extent of coverage and signal strength varying by location.

The 10 libraries set to receive outdoor Wi-Fi service are:

The Silver Spring Civic Building will see free Wi-Fi installed out front at Veterans Plaza.

Additional coverage will be available in the grass area behind the Davis branch, in the park from the library to the playground at Wheaton Regional and in Rockville Town Square.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought greater awareness of the impacts of the widening digital disparity, which often deprives community members of opportunities to participate in important daily-life activities such as remote learning, accessing workforce development and employment information or staying up-to-date on news and information,” County Executive Marc Elrich said in a news release Monday.

The 10 library branches were selected after analyzing U.S. Census and library utilization data, with special attention paid to neighborhoods with lower incomes and a higher proportion of households without home internet.

Three locations — Davis, Rockville and Wheaton — were selected due to their prior participation in the county library system’s small business program.

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