Portage Health Foundation, others bringing public WiFi to several UP counties

KEWEENAW — The Portage Health Foundation is teaming up with several other organizations to bring public WiFi to several UP counties.

With support from up.net, Peninsula Fiber Network and REMC1, Portage Health Foundation is setting up WiFi hotspots throughout parts of Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw & Ontonagon counties, free for public use.

According to one of the project organizers, having reliable internet in today’s pandemic is a necessity.

“When the COVID situation took over, we learned from a lot of people that internet access was a pretty serious issue at their homes,” said Michael H. Babcock, Communications and Marketing Coordinator for Portage Health Foundation. “A lot of people were using internet at their school, at their workplace, and suddenly working from home was something that was a reality for them. For many of them, it was a very hard reality because internet access isn’t something that they have the ability to really have, especially if they live in rural areas.”

Another reason the hotspots are being set up include healthcare; patients can now connect with their doctors virtually to get things like prescriptions.

So far, seven WiFi hotspots have been set up, with dozens more planned for the future.

An interactive map, along with more about the project, can be found here.