Okanogan County PUD announced today it will install 15 free drive-in hotspots throughout the county for students working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working with schools, the PUD has identified the 15 locations based on current availability on the district’s network and the local need for access.

The idea of these “drive-fi” (drive-up Wi-Fi) connections is that anyone can drive to an access point, download and/or upload needed schoolwork, and then drive away when done. Each location has about a 300-foot range for connectivity, according to a press release.

The units arrived on April 27, and PUD staff are working on programming them and planning an installation schedule. Once deployed, the sites will be available most likely through the summer, then could be removed if school resumes as usual in the fall. The PUD will work closely with schools to help share information on the drive-fi sites as they become available.

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