In this day and age, we all rely heavily on having internet access. There are several rural areas across the Panhandle, that are still considered “dead zones,“ where there is no connection at all but, one county has found a way to get residents the connection they need.
Thanks to the success of the pilot program installed in Red Bay, residents students and visitors will soon have 11 more places where they can connect to WiFi, for free. One of those locations will be at South Walton Annex.
“We put a WiFi access point in The Red. Bay Fire Department and so, that has been working and people have been driving out there in their cars and getting on the internet instead of having to drive all the way into a library, “ explained
Jason Cook, Walton County employee.
It’s similar to a hotspot on your phone. The service casts an umbrella, spanning about a *500 feet to 1,000 feet radius that anyone can connect to within range.
“Until we can get broadband expansion throughout our whole county with infrastructure, it helps (residents) by not having to drive as far to a McDonalds,“ said Cook.
Walton County staff identified ten locations, that already have fiber in the ground. Most of the location will be in the north end of the county, with one in the south.
Those ten, were unanimously approved by the commissioners, with one addition.
“… maybe an 11th one, up at the jail? It seems to me that somebody who is trying to bond someone out, they might like an internet connection,“ suggested Danny Glidewell, Walton County Commissioner.
Even though it will be free for anyone to use, it will cost the county money.
“Under $17,000. So not too bad for adding ten additional hotspots…well 11,“ said Cook.
Wi-Fi Access Point Location
1. Walton County Fire Rescue-Gaskin
2. Walton County Fire Rescue-Glendale
3. Sheriff Substation-Paxton
4. Sheriff Substation-Mossy Head
5. South Annex Courthouse
6. Walton County Courthouse (DeFuniak Springs)
7. Walton County United Fire (South of DeFuniak Springs)
8. Freeport Business Complex or WCFR Freeport (Both have parking issues)
9. Walton County Fire Rescue Windswept (Will be moving locations)
10.Walton County Fire Rescue Choctaw Beach (Will be moving locations)
11. Walton County Jail