Madison residents will have a new spot to do homework, search for a job or access a telemedicine appointment.
The Madison Free Clinic will be allowing access to its high-speed internet in the parking lot beginning April 8.
According to free clinic executive director Brenda Clements, the service is in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. She noted that Culpeper County opened access to high-speed internet in the parking lots of schools and government buildings and Fauquier County established four temporary hotspots.
“We wanted to do more to help others in the community,” said Clements. “Many in the community don’t have access to high-speed internet.”
Clements credits volunteer Ren LeVally for helping jump start the project and several community donations for helping to implement it.
“Ren has been amazing,” she said. “His tech skills have helped make my crazy ideas a reality. He does so much for our clinic and the community as a whole. None of this would be possible without the support of the community. While this hasn’t been an expensive project, even a small one is hard for a non-profit especially with our major fundraiser canceled. We are blessed to have generous donors from our community who have specifically donated to get this and the telemedicine up and going.”
Access to the hotspot is available 24 hours/day, seven days a week. The clinic has asked that those using the service remain respectful of overall bandwidth consumption and has cautioned that as an open network it would not be prudent to conduct sensitive personal or financial business.
Meanwhile, the Madison Public Library may be closed, but the building’s wi-fi remains accessible in the parking lot.