BENTON COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)- With all Hoosier students now doing E-Learning, access to reliable internet is more important now than ever before. For rural areas like Benton County, reliable internet isn't always an option.
"It's been kind of crazy," said Elijah Greene a junior in high school.
"It's been really hard just not getting to see people," added Mary Greene a Freshmen in High School.
Students across the state of Indiana are finishing their school year much differently than they ever imagined. Elijah and Mary Greene are both in High School. They live in rural Benton County, where their home WIFI doesn't always work the way they need it to.
"We live pretty much in the middle of nowhere,” said Elijah. “We have WIFI at our house but it's very limited.”
Benton County doesn’t have reliable WIFI. That's why Watch Communications has established a free public WIFI network at the Benton County Fair Grounds and several other places the company services.
"We have about 45 in the process right now,” said Gregg Jarman the CEO of Watch Communication. “We have about 25 hot spots that are live. We will be updating our website with those locations very soon. Some of them are already on there but more are coming online every day. Our goal is to have about 100 of those in the general services areas we offer."
The Free WIFI network is something students say is helping them finish their school work on a daily basis.
"I take a lot of music classes so a lot of things are on YouTube or Google drive and those things don't load at my house,” said Mary. “So I come here and I can download them here and then work from home."
"We can do all of our homework without having to worry about the internet going down or it being limited or throttling in any way," added Elijah.
Students also say it is nice to have options when performing e-learning assignments.
"Getting out and getting in the sunshine and seeing some other things that aren't just your house it's a very good thing to have," said Elijah.
The Benton Community School corporation also has WIFI access in the parking lots of all four of its schools that are being made available to teachers and students.
The superintendent of Benton Community School Corporation Gregg Hoover sent a statement saying in part “We have provided outside guest wifi access at all four of our schools and our administrative office to accommodate students and parents that had limited or no access. We have observed several students and parents taking advantage of this at our various sites. We did this also to help accommodate those that had often used our public libraries, which have been closed due to Covid-19. Our technology department has also been working with individual students, parents, and teachers to correct any difficulties that might be experienced. “
For a map of the free WIFI networks available visit Watch Communications website.