NEWPORT, Ark. – Residents in Newport will be able to come out and enjoy free internet once construction on a new Wi-Fi park is completed.

Once park construction is finished, residents will be able to use the park for their personal use. Director of the Newport Economic Development Commission Jon Chadwell said the idea came after local students and residents struggled with coursework and online business during the peak of COVID-19.

“We saw a real need within our community arise, and we’ve been amazed at the support we’ve received in addressing it,” Chadwell said. “With the help of Ritter Communications, we’re creating the infrastructure that will ensure our citizens have remote access to high-quality wireless internet in a safe outdoor environment should another event similar to the pandemic occur.”

Officials with Ritter Communications said Tuesday that they are providing free internet service to the new park. Company officials stated that they are proud about the partnership with the city.

“Ritter Communications is proud to partner with the Newport community in providing unique and creative solutions that support broader access to essential tools and connectivity,” Ritter Communications President & CEO Alan Morse said.

The park will be built on a lot next to the community library, officials said. Along with free WiFi, company officials said that the park will have 41 regular parking spots, four handicap parking spaces and four shaded picnic table areas.