Banks Recreation Center to be WiFi hotspot

Published 7:29 pm Monday, March 3, 2014

Banks residents will soon have free WiFi access.
“We’re going to try to install it this week,” said Banks Mayor Lisa Culpepper. “As soon as I have a couple hours to do it.”
The same $26 million grant that brought broadband to rural areas of Pike County will cover the equipment needed to make the Banks Recreation Center a hotspot.
Troy Cable secured the grant in 2010 and used it to construct a fiber optic network that includes Pike, Crenshaw, Coffee and Dale counties.
Culpepper said the free access was a stipulation of the grant.
“They’re targeting children that have Internet access at home. We’re grateful for the project,” she said. “Here, basic cable and Internet costs $100 a month and most people can’t afford it.”
Banks officials also had a stipulation. In order to get the free fiber optic lines, the town had to agree to open the recreation center for two to three hours a week.
Councilman Don Smith volunteered to open the center on Fridays. Culpepper said she could use additional volunteers.
The WiFi equipment does not include computers or notepads. Culpepper plans to seek donations from local businesses.
The council also unanimously voted to fill the seat vacated by Kay Andress with Laura Hollis, who is native to the area and sister of Councilman Jeff Hollis.
“I think she’ll be a good councilman,” Jeff Hollis said. “She’s hardworking, honest and a people person.”
Laura Hollis will be sworn in at the April 7 meeting.

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