Piedmont Electric and RiverStreet Networks are working together to provide free WiFi hotspots in rural communities where broadband internet service can be unreliable or expensive.
“We are committed to the well-being of our members, employees and the community,” said Steve Hamlin, president and CEO of Piedmont Electric. “There are a lot of people out there without access to reliable internet and with many workers and students at home, it is more important now than ever to have good, reliable internet.”
Piedmont Electric will provide free WiFi hotspots at its Person and Caswell County offices and, thanks to the Cherry Grove Ruritan Club in Reidsville, NC, a new site is being set up at their parking lot. Individuals can access the internet from the safety of their vehicles at all three locations. The free access name is PEMC-Free-WiFi at all locations.
- Person County: 1125 Oxford Road, Roxboro, NC 27573
- Caswell County: 64 Rascoe Dameron Road, Burlington, NC 27217
- (New!) Cherry Grove Ruritan Club: 7152 Cherry Grove Rd, Reidsville, NC 27320
The two companies launched a joint initiative in December 2019 to provide a more permanent solution to the lack of reliable broadband in rural communities.
“If you want a better internet solution in your community, visit Join.BuildPiedmont.com and let us know you are interested,” Hamlin said. “The more people who sign up, the more likely RiverStreet is to build in this area.”
Once enough interest is gathered, RiverStreet will begin working on how to provide homes and businesses in the area with broadband internet. RiverStreet expects to start with wireless with the hope to transition to fiber to the home in areas where it is financially feasible. While the process of providing internet service is an expensive and time-consuming one, Hamlin urged those who are interested to register and spread the word.
“While we know projects like this take time, we want to assure everyone that we are in this for the long-haul,” Hamlin said. “Tell your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and anyone else you know about Join.BuildPiedmont.com. We want to help bridge the urban rural divide and ensure that our communities remain a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
Piedmont Electric is a local, member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative serving more than 33,000 electric accounts in Alamance, Caswell, Durham, Granville, Person and Orange counties. Piedmont Electric exists to serve our members and improve the quality of life in our communities through local employment, economic development, business engagement, youth education, grants to educators, advocacy for energy issues, community involvement, broadband connectivity and emergency preparedness support. Visit www.pemc.coop for more information.