Orange County library makes Wi-Fi device available for rural Internet users

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – A new Wi-Fi to-go device is helping rural families make faster connections, and it’s free to try the device right now at the Orange County Public Library.

At the main library in Hillsborough or Carrboro branch, those interested can checkout the device for three weeks.

Nitya Fiorentino, who lives in a rural community, has used the hotspot device and she says she noticed a difference in her first Internet connection. “It was disappointing because it had showed me how poorly the wireless I had used in the past was working.”

She said there was no lag even having multiple devices hooked up to it. “There was no problem at all,” Fiorentino said. “It didn’t seem to lose signal periodically because there was a too much traffic on it at one time.”

Lucinda Munger, the county’s library director, said it’s just another means of access to the Internet. “It’s not subplanting,” Munger said.

Right now there’s a waiting list for the device at the library. “We thought it was a great place to centralize this project as a way to better understand Internet need throughout the county,” said Jim Northrup, the county’s chief information officer.

Fiorentino said those who don’t have Internet access are living in the ’90s. “You think about what life was like before we had the Internet and that’s actually the lives that a lot of people are still living.”

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