With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing individuals to be more plugged in digitally, it has also opened up a broader discussion about the inequity of internet access.
Los Angeles County has launched a new WiFi locator tool to help residents access the internet during the pandemic.
According to American Community Survey Data for the county, about 210,000 children have a computer at home but lack internet access, while close to 283,000 households do not have connectivity.
“Today, Los Angeles County is taking a step forward to bridge the gap of Internet access — an issue that during the COVID-19 pandemic can quickly become a matter of survival,” wrote County Supervisor Janice Hahn in a statement on Friday, May 15.
The new WiFi finder, made possible with a partnership with 211 L.A. County, can be accessed via findwifi.lacounty.gov as a “one-stop-shop approach to getting Internet access.”
Any member of the public can dial 2-1-1 to ask for assistance to get information from the website or can visit the site directly.
On the website, an individual can use the search function and find sources of internet connection nearest them, such as internet access for students and free WiFi spots across the county located in county libraries or parks. The website also provides contact information for both residential and commercial broadband Internet providers and mobile (cellular) internet providers serving the address.
An LA County Library Card is required to login to the public library WiFi. (AJPress)