Checking out Books and Wi-Fi at Oregon Libraries

The Gold Rush may be over, but the Dalles-Wasco County Library system in Oregon just struck Wi-Fi gold. Thanks to a generous grant from Google, library patrons will now be able to check out Wi-Fi hotspots for up to three weeks at a time. It’s an exciting new chapter for the library and for Oregon — the Wi-Fi Hotspot Lending Program is the first of its kind in the state.

The goal of this program is to help the Dalles-Wasco community bridge the digital divide that has kept many of its residents offline.“Having internet access isn’t just a luxury these days, it’s a necessity for school assignments, applying for jobs, and staying connected with the world,” says Darcy Nothnagle from Google. “We hope this program will provide greater access and greater opportunity for the entire community.”

Greater opportunity indeed. Wi-Fi — and the unlicensed spectrum that makes Wi-Fi work — opens a world of possibilities for everyone. With more Wi-Fi available and accessible, more people can connect and take advantage of the endless online opportunities to learn, play, and work; enriching residents’ lives and uplifting the whole community.

Dalles-Wasco County isn’t the only community that stands to benefit from more access to Wi-Fi and unlicensed spectrum. As similar programs roll out across the country and more Americans get connected to Wi-Fi networks, we need to make sure that we have enough spectrum to support the growing network traffic.

Policymakers and innovators need to continue working together to increase available unlicensed spectrum and to effectively manage rising digital traffic so everyone can enjoy fast, reliable Wi-Fi access at home and on the go.

Access to Wi-Fi and unlicensed spectrum are too important to leave on the shelf. Click here to show your support for innovative programs like the one in the Dalles-Wasco County Library system and for Wi-Fi.