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Michigan launches map showing free WiFi hotspots

Posted at 6:16 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 18:16:46-04

LANSING, Mich. — One of the things the coronavirus crisis has made clear is just how important high-speed internet is, and how many people don't have access to it.

The Michigan Public Service Commission said a lot of work needs to be done to improve broadband access across the state, especially in rural and low income areas.

"We wanted to find a way for them to still stay connected and have access to that high speed internet that is really a critical item, critical service," said Tremaine Phillips, Michigan Public Service Commissioner.

Phillips said that solution is an interactive map highlighting free hot spot locations.

"Really what I call these are digital parking lots," he said.

Right now there are more than 300 hotspots on the map.

Many are outside public libraries and businesses offering their networks.

"Really it's about those intensive applications, those downloads that need to take place that you cannot just have happen over a phone or a cell phone network," Phillips said.

The map even has instructions on what to do if an employee asks why you're there.

"People can access the wifi from the parking lot location and not compromise their safety," said Phillips.

Philips is hoping to keep the map updated until broadband access is improved across the state.

The public service commission will continuously update the map with new locations as they become available.

If you would like to add your business's WiFi network, just contact the commission.

The map can be found here.

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