Burlington County expanding free public Wi-Fi to County parks

Free public Wi-Fi will be available at this year’s Burlington County Farm Fair as part of a new initiative to expand internet access and connectivity to all Burlington County Parks.

The Burlington County Commissioners announced that the Burlington County Fairgrounds would become the first County park to provide the free service and that it would become available for the start of Farm Fair today.

To log onto Burlington County’s service, turn on your device’s Wi-Fi and look for “Burlco” on the wireless network list. Select it and connect.

The service is being offered in the parks as part of the County’s “Burlington County Connects” initiative to expand free Wi-Fi service to all County-owned buildings and properties. Doing so allows residents and visitors to stay connected and access online services, including those who are unable to access or afford reliable internet service at home. 

“Reliable internet has become a necessity, not just at home or work, but in public spaces where people gather and engage in recreation,” said Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson.  “Extending our County’s free public Wi-Fi to our parks will allow visitors to stay connected and access important online applications and services that can make visiting a County park even more enjoyable.”

“Burlington County parks are among the most beautiful and accessible in the nation and we’re working to ensure they’re also among the most connected,” added Commissioner Allison Eckel, the liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation and Parks. “Whether you’re using Wi-Fi to work remotely outdoors, sharing real-time photos of friends and family or accessing apps, maps or schedules, having the ability to connect online is a great asset that can help attract even more visitors to our parks and events like Farm Fair.”

Burlington County’s free Wi-Fi network is comprised of more than 200 Wireless Access Points and now stretches across 20 County-owned buildings, including the County administration facilities at 49 and 50 Rancocas Road in Mount Holly, the Burlington County Human Services Building and all 15 Burlington County Library System branches and member libraries.

More than 100,000 users have connected to the public Wi-Fi service during the past year, according to the Burlington County Department of Information Technology.

Hopson said those connections are helping to close the digital divide in Burlington County and address disparities in internet service. An estimated 15,000 county households had no internet subscription at home in 2020, according to the US Census.  

“We know how important high-speed internet is today. Our residents rely on it to work, attend school, communicate, obtain information and perform countless other tasks,” Hopson said. “Those without it are at a severe disadvantage, so we’re pleased to expand our County’s free service. Doing so will help close the gaps and help ensure all Burlington County residents can access the information and critical services available exclusively online.”

State Senator Troy Singleton applauded the County for taking action to expand its Wi-Fi network to County parks.

“We know how critical connectivity and access to the internet is for residents’ well-being, so I appreciate Burlington County’s initiative to extend its free Wi-Fi network,” Senator Singleton said. “Extending Wi-Fi to County parks is another way to help close the digital divide so those who can’t afford or lack internet at home are not shoutout of important online resources and services.”

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