Free Wi-Fi at 100 Megabits per second is now available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Boyle Park in Mancos through a partnership with FastTrack Communications and the town.
Rachael Marchbanks, Mancos’ economic development coordinator, said planning for the Wi-Fi project began during a discussion between Mancos Town Administrator Heather Alvarez and FastTrack CEO Kelly Hebbard.
“When we became aware that schools would be doing more learning from home, we were worried that a number of kids in our area have inadequate internet service,” Marchbanks said.
From Alvarez’s and Hebbard’s conversation, the partnership emerged in which the town would purchase equipment to provide the Wi-Fi in Boyle Park, the town’s main park south of town hall, and FastTrack would provide free service for one year.
Mancos paid about $4,300 for the equipment and installation of equipment that included tamper-proof mounting boxes and radios to broadcast the signal.
According to a survey by the Mancos School District, 20% of the district’s families said they lacked reliable internet service at home.
“We’re doing this at no cost. We want to be a good partner, and we understand that there are so many kids who may get left behind since they don’t have connectivity yet,” Hebbard said. “This will also enable any teachers to bring their classroom outside, in the nice weather, and they can get their studying done at the park.”