MARATHON COUNTY, Wis. (WAOW) — The Marathon County Public Library is now offering free 24/7 WiFi internet service at 8 branch locations.
Marathon County Public Library-Wausau Library Specialist Dan Richter said the 24/7 access will hopefully help those in need who have limited to no internet access at home.
“High speed internet access or internet access at all can be hard to come by sometimes in more rural communities in central Wisconsin,” Richter said. “There’s a lot of necessary day-to-day things you need the internet for, and so this is one way again to connect people who may not have it at home, and let them still be able to do the things they need to.”
Legislators say hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites have little to no access to broadband internet.
Heather Maves, a resident of Hatley that works closer to the public library during the day, also runs a small business. Her home is located in a rural area, which causes her to have limited to no internet access. She said this is a problem for many rural residents around central Wisconsin.
“You need internet. I need it to pay my bills, my children need it for school, everything is done online now,” Maves said. “When I work from home it takes me a long time to get connected, and when I’m trying to upload any of the work that I do from home it takes a significant amount of time.”
The internet will be accessible at Athens, Edgar, Hatley, Marathon City, Mosinee, Rothschild, Spencer, and Stratford Marathon County Public Library locations, even after the doors to go inside are locked.