Whitespace Project

picture of Free Wifi sign at the Manhattan City Park

Whitespace Project for Free Mobile Internet Access

An experiment delivering public library Internet access to remote locations is underway. The Manhattan Public Library is testing remote Wi-Fi hot spots at City Park and two additional locations in the city which have yet to be determined.

As of March, 2014, the public can access a free wireless connection at City Park, near the playground and splashpark. A library card and PIN number are required to log in, and can be obtained free of charge from the Manhattan Public Library located at 629 Poyntz Avenue.

The pilot project, Kansas K20-Librarians Whitespace Pilot, is coordinated by the State Library, and also involves Kansas City, Kansas Public Library; Lawrence Public Library; and Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.

The consortium of Kansas libraries will work together in this feasibility study to test the strength and speed of signals sent over distances. Kansas was among six consortium or public libraries chosen for this project.

This pilot is an initiative of the national Gigabit Libraries Network’s Libraries Super Wi-Fi Project that makes use of abandoned analog TV frequencies. More information about the national initiative can be found at http://giglibraries.net.