Ohio University

Ohio University provides Wi-Fi access for local community with drive-in spots

Published: August 25, 2020 Author: Jalyn Bolyard

As schools reopen, internet accessibility remains a challenge in Athens and surrounding communities. To help with this need, Ohio University is collaborating with the Athens City School District to provide drive-in parking spaces with Wi-Fi access in three parking lots throughout campus for free.

OHIO’s Transportation and Parking Services (TPS) and Office of Information Technology (OIT) have been working together to locate areas with the best accessibility for the local community. The University’s guest Wi-Fi network is open to the public, and starting at 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 24, free parking will be available in designated spaces. 

“We’ve recently learned that Ohio University will continue to offer access to campus Wi-Fi for our students who may need an additional option for accessing the online curriculum,” Superintendent of Athens City School District Tom Gibbs said. “The Athens City School District appreciates the long-standing partnership we have with Ohio University and are thankful to the University for providing this resource.”

Anyone that needs internet access can use the spaces, including Athens City School District parents and students, OHIO students, faculty and staff, as well as Athens community members.

“Fast, reliable internet service remains a persistent challenge for many in our community and our region. This collaboration improves access to our free Wi-Fi network and makes it easier for people to access the resources they need,” said Chief Information Officer Chris Ament.  

The available drive-in WiFi access spaces will be in Peden Stadium Lot 132, South Green Lot 51 and WUSOC Lot 154. All applicable parking spaces will be marked with a sign to indicate the approved parking locations and will not require a parking permit. 

“We look forward to collaborating with OIT to provide designated parking space access for those needing to connect to the University Wi-Fi network and support our community and campus as online instruction and virtual learning needs continue,” said TPS Director Tia Hysell.

TPS and the OIT will monitor utilization of the spots and will determine if any additional spaces or locations might be needed to support access needs moving forward. 

OIT also partnered with ACSD in April to provide tech support for students and instructors, to aid the district’s handful of IT employees handle the work flow of additional support calls. That support will continue through the new school year. To learn more, click here.