Information Systems Technology
May 19, 2020
CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — Chesterfield County recently unveiled a new website designed to help citizens locate publicly-accessible, county-owned WiFi locations throughout Chesterfield. Featuring an interactive map, the Public WiFi Access Locations website allows visitors to pinpoint nearby WiFi spots and provides a link to Google Maps directions to each location.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has increased many residents’ reliance on reliable internet access, Chesterfield County’s Deputy Chief Information Officer Joseph Pugh said the new website was designed with citizens in mind.
“We are striving to provide essential services to our community that hopefully assist those most in need,” said Pugh. “Access to information online is just one of those opportunities, and we hope the map illustrates the most convenient points for residents to gain connectivity.”
With many public facilities currently closed to the public due to COVID-19, the new website also provides details on where citizens can park, stand or sit to get the best coverage. For example, the website informs visitors they may get good WiFi coverage at the Historic Courthouse, 10001 Iron Bridge Road, by parking in the spaces in front of the courthouse. At Bon Air Library, 9103 Rattlesnake Road, citizens can get good coverage from the parking lots both in front of and to the left of the library’s entrance.
When in public, however, citizens should follow social distancing guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including remaining at least six feet away from others, avoiding gathering in groups and staying away from crowded places. In addition, some public facilities have limited hours of accessibility: Chesterfield’s parks are open from dawn to dusk seven days a week while the River City Sportsplex is currently open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
If users have any concerns about facility accessibility, they are encouraged to contact that facility’s managing department prior to traveling to that location.
To find a nearby WiFi location, citizens may type in an address and pinpoint a user-defined area of up to a 30-mile radius represented by a large, blue circle on the map. Note that this circle does not show the coverage area for a given WiFi signal; it helps identify the locations of the WiFi access spots themselves.
Currently, the map features over a dozen public WiFi locations accessible from outside of county buildings and facilities currently closed to visitors. However, when facilities are once again open to the public, Chesterfield’s Department of Information System Technology intends to update the application with all public WiFi locations across the county.
Public WiFi connections should always be used with caution, and citizens are urged not to access sensitive personal data such as banking information, medical records or credit card numbers while connected to public WiFi.
To view Chesterfield’s new Public WiFi Access Locations website and begin using the interactive map, visit www.chesterfield.gov/wifi.
For more information about Chesterfield County’s response to COVID-19, please visit www.chesterfield.gov/coronavirus.