Published 8:18 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2020

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WiFi hotspots have been newly installed and activated by Mediacom Communications to provide local residents and visitors with free Internet access in two public locations in Opp.

The hotspot service surrounds a portion of the business district at North Main and Covington Avenue, and an area around Channell-Lee Stadium.

Opp Mayor Becky Bracke said free public WiFi is huge for the City of Opp.

“It is going to allow people to be uptown and have that free WiFi to do what they want to,” Bracke said. “The ones that don’t have WiFi will be able to come uptown and access it. It is going to be really advantageous to us. I mean we have somebody now who is always looking for WiFi around town and now we have it. It’s just a great thing for Opp and I appreciate Mediacom for doing it.”

With Opp City School’s alternating schedule, Bracke said public WiFi will make things easier for the kids.

“There’s going to be a lot of virtual learning at Opp City Schools this year,” Bracke said. “With this public WiFi we are able to help so many students complete their online work and help the schools out as well.”

While the mayor knows there will be some worries about the speed and connectivity, she said she wants to try it first.

“There are always going to be worries,” Bracke said. “But you have to try it and see. I’m not one of those that worries before it happens. We are going to see how it goes and we are looking forward to it.”

The locations were selected to extend Internet connectivity to outdoor areas with high pedestrian traffic and where community residents and visitors congregate for popular events. WiFi access points create a broad mesh of coverage where users can wirelessly connect to a broadband network listed as “Free XtreamWiFI.”

“No matter where they are, people of all ages want to stay connected and quickly search for information that’s available at their fingertips,” said Paul Pecora, Mediacom’s vice president for operations. “Additionally, when they use Xtream WiFi to access the Internet, people save money because the connection doesn’t count against their wireless data plans.”

The downtown coverage extends along North Main Street, generally between Covington and Hart Avenues. Access points installed at Channell-Lee Stadium will provide internet connections for sports fans sitting in the stands and in areas where vendors and visitors congregate at the annual Rattlesnake Rodeo. Mediacom provided the electronic components and installed the WiFi access points at no cost to the city or customers.

Mediacom Internet customers, whether they live in Opp or elsewhere, automatically receive unlimited access to the WiFi connections. Non-customers can connect and receive free access for up to 30 minutes per month. When users prompt their smart phone or other device to search for Internet availability, they will see access listed as “Free XtreamWiFi.”

To connect for the first time, users are prompted to go to an online sign-in page: