The University of New Mexico has joined the City of Albuquerque’s “Wi-Fi on Wheels” program, an initiative designed to offer free internet access at various parking lots across the city in an effort to help those without internet access during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We’re all in this together, which means supporting students in grade school all the way through the University level,” said Dan Garcia, UNM vice president of enrollment services. “Each of us defines all of us, and UNM’s partnership with the City of Albuquerque and Albuquerque Public Schools is a way we can support both current and future Lobos.”
“This program is critical to ensuring that everyone throughout our City has access to information, education and social connection, even those who don’t have access to the internet at home,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Thank you to UNM for stepping up to help expand the available network so that more people can benefit from this program.”
Current locations for the “Wi-Fi on Wheels” program include select public libraries, some Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) campuses offering grab-and-go meals and certain APS high schools that distributed Chromebooks to students. The program is particularly useful to students who need to download assignments or upload completed work in order to complete their classes.
The location of UNM’s mobile Wi-Fi is near at the Smartcone van in UNM’s RIO Parking lot located at University Blvd. and Avenida Cesar Chavez near UNM’s Student Services Center. It will be operated from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
The initial collaboration was created to help provide internet access to as many citizens as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic and to assist Albuquerque Public Schools in their effort to connect students to the resources they need to work on academics. The City of Albuquerque extended its public access to free Wi-Fi hotspots in early April by providing additional locations in areas where social distancing is possible. The City has now created 65 Wi-Fi access points in parking lots around the community where residents can get online.
The City of Albuquerque’s Wi-Fi on Wheels program can be accessed from a variety of parking lots. Available times and network name vary by locations. To use the service, a wireless device such as a laptop computer, smart phone or tablet is needed. There is no password needed to logon. The City encourages citizens to follow social distancing guidelines while using the public Wi-Fi.
In addition to linking up with Wifi on Wheels, UNM IT is extending its Wi-Fi network to include the G-lot, IT parking lot, IT South lot and SSSC lot (see below for coverage maps). Access is now available for 140 cars in G lot, 232 cars in SSSC lot, and 40 cars in IT South lot. This will allow upwards of nearly 200 more users to access the internet from those combined locations, all while practicing social distancing by safely leaving an empty parking space between cars.
With high speeds of up to 350 Mbps, the extended coverage will enable both UNM and APS students to participate in synchronous online classes. University leaders say there will be a notable boost in network speed when this is complete, which is planned for some time next week. K-12 graders can access the Wi-Fi using the LoboGuest network, while UNM students can select Lobo-Wifi by using their UNM NetID and password.
For additional information, visit Wi-Fi on Wheels. This website will be updated as location information changes.