St. Charles County, Missouri – Local residents who do not have access to home internet are invited to participate in the St. Charles City-County Library’s newest service, Get Connected @ Home. Residents can go to any branch in the district and apply for a free internet connection device, provided by the Federal Communication Commission's Emergency Connectivity Fund.
“As each year passes, we’re less and less connected to the world around us without internet connectivity. As informational and educational resources switch to a digital realm, people can be left behind without access,” said Jason Kuhl, St. Charles City-County Library District CEO. “We’re happy to have secured this grant to equal the playing field for all of our residents.”
The service, funded by a $682,000 Emergency Connectivity Fund grant and partnered with T-Mobile, allows residents to check out one of 700 5G plug-in Wi-Fi Gateways or one of 300 5G portable hotspots. Checkout of these devices begins September 14, 2023, with a due date of June 30, 2024. There is no cost to check out one of these devices, but charges may apply if the device is returned damaged or late.
The 5G plug-in Wi-Fi Gateways can connect to 30 devices and just need an electrical outlet to plug into. The Gateways and hotspots are portable and work wherever coverage is available. Applications must be filled out in person by those 18 years of age or older. Interested residents will need to bring a current Library card in good standing OR a photo ID with proof of current address.