(TNS) — West Virginia Attorney General
teamed with Tractor Supply Co. Thursday to announce a free WiFi initiative at Tractor Supply stores across the state.
Tractor Supply is providing free WiFI hotspots in the parking lots of 23 of its West Virginia stores, with five more to be added. People can come to the parking lots during store hours to access the service.
Morrisey and Tractor Supply District Manager for West Virginia Chris Vanfosson made the announcement at Tractor Supply's Logan store.
"This is a big first step and we are proud to be able to help our neighbors in Logan and across West Virginia be better connected, " Vanfossen said. More than 18 million Americans lack broadband access, most of them in rural areas the the company serves.
The company has pledged up to $1 million to the project in conjunction with the introduction of its new store app, he said.
In this area, WiFi is available at the Morgantown and Clarksburg stores ; service at the Kingwood store is pending.
A press release from Morrisey's office said the project is part of the American Connection Project Broadband Coalition, a broader partnership between Tractor Supply Company, Microsoft, Land O'Lakes and more than 100 other organizations to expand high-speed internet infrastructure into rural America. Tractor Supply officials developed the parking lot project in cooperation with Microsoft's Airband Initiative.
At the Logan store, Morrisey said, "This is an incredible day for Logan County and counties across West Virginia. When you can develop a relationship and work with a good corporate citizen like Tractor Suppy to address the needs of our state, that's all you can ask for. This is a terrific opportunity."
Both of them mentioned how broadband access can serve distance learning, business, medical care, even simple email service.
The press release notes that those wishing to access a hotspot should visit a participating store's parking lot, search their device for available Wi-Fi networks and accept the user agreement. Streaming will be inaccessible.
(c)2020 The Dominion Post (Morgantown, W.Va.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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