In an effort to help residents access the internet and local students complete their school assignments, the City of Ball Ground has kept in place a pair of Wi-Fi hotspots that are free to access.

“We started offering these last year,” City Manager Eric Wilmarth said. “We worked with our internet access provider, Ellijay Telephone Co., to get these two hotspots set up and running.”

The biggest reason for installing these access points, Wilmarth said, was to ensure that students living in the Ball Ground area who may not be able to easily access the internet from home have a dedicated location they can come, download assignments from their teachers and then upload them once completed.

One of the two hotspot points is located in the parking lot of the Ball Ground Senior Center, while the other is located on the ETC switch building, located at the corner of Old Canton Road and Coy M. Holcomb Street, near the bus entrance to Ball Ground STEM Academy. The senior center hotspot is an open access point, while the ETC switch building requires a password to access. According to one of Wilmarth’s regular email newsletters, the password for the hotspot is “etc12345”.

Wilmarth said the senior center hotspot is well used, and it is easy to tell that an overwhelming majority of those using the access points are students wanting to complete their schoolwork, Wilmarth said. Many of the cars seen around the hotspots are there on a regular basis, both in the morning hours around when school begins and again in the evening as students send in their assignments.

“We’re absolutely happy to offer this,” Wilmarth said. “I also want to give a big shout-out to ETC. This service is being provided at no cost to the city.”

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