CWU News

Community Wi-Fi Program Provides Free Internet Access to Everyone

CWU has partnered with three local government offices and a nonprofit organization this spring to provide free internet access through a program called Community Wi-Fi.

The group effort between the university, the City of Ellensburg, Kittitas County, the Ellensburg School District, and Northwest Open Access Network (NOANET) will allow students and other community members to use the internet at designated locations while remaining in their vehicles.

CWU’s Wi-Fi hotspot, in the paved parking lot outside of Tomlinson Stadium, was introduced this week and will be available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Most private businesses and government employees have been working remotely since the state’s stay-at-home order took effect March 23, while all K-12 and CWU classes are currently being conducted online this spring. However, not everyone in the community has reliable access to the internet, making the Community Wi-Fi program essential for a range of academic and business functions.

“Quality Internet access is essential to be able to engage in online lessons, to access telehealth services, maintain connections with family and friends, and to be able to work remotely,” the partners said in a joint announcement. “Never has this been more clear than it is now as we are all coping with the COVID-19 health crisis.”

Anyone in the community is welcome to use the Community Wi-Fi locations free of charge. The on-campus hotspot is available to all residents, and all of the hotspots around the county are available to CWU students. Users are asked to practice social distancing by remaining in their vehicles at each of the locations.

A total of 12 Community Wi-Fi hotspots can be found around the county. Other locations include Ellensburg City Hall, Ellensburg High School, Morgan Middle School, the Kittitas County Fairgrounds, the Upper Kittitas County District Courthouse, and the Adult Activity Center. This map shows where to find the nearest location. 

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs,