Free Public Wi Fi

Harlan County Unveils Free Public Wi-Fi in Downtown Area: A Game-Changer for Local Businesses

This Saturday, Harlan County will celebrate the unveiling of free public Wi-Fi in its downtown area, marking the culmination of a multi-year initiative. Free public Wi-Fi in Harlan County is not only a significant step towards modernizing the region but also a vital resource for local businesses and visitors alike.

“The day and age we live in now, it’s hard to do anything without high-speed broadband,” said Judge-Executive Dan Mosley. “When you think of a downtown setting and how much business takes place in downtown, people having access to high-speed broadband is essential to be able to do business.”

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Addressing Connectivity Issues During Local Festivals

The initiative to bring free public Wi-Fi to downtown Harlan began after residents reported connectivity issues during local festivals. The Harlan County Economic Development Authority, One Harlan County group, and the Harlan Tourism and Convention Commission collaborated to address these concerns and improve the area’s internet infrastructure.

Cole Raines, Executive Director of One Harlan County, was inspired by a project in Cynthiana that was discussed at the SOAR Summit. “As soon as I heard [Billy Forsyth and Justin Warren] say it, I went up to them after and asked how do we get this to Harlan County,” said Raines. “That’s really what got this started.”

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Installation of New Wi-Fi Equipment

To enhance service in downtown Harlan, five radios were installed along with two mobile units. “We think it’s going to be one that’s going to help enhance the visitor experience in downtown Harlan and around the courthouse properties and downtown merchants,” Mosley said.

Boosting Local Events and Festivals

The timing of the project’s completion is particularly crucial with several events on the horizon, including the Poke Sallet Festival. “I expect, in two weekends when Poke Sallet rolls around, it will be really used in a major way,” Mosley added. This improved connectivity will ensure that both residents and visitors can enjoy a seamless online experience during these events.

Enhancing Business Operations in Downtown Harlan

Highlighting the importance of technology for businesses, Mosley emphasized the need for a reliable internet connection. “The new age that we’re in, a lot of folks are paying with credit, debit, or some type of digital app on their phone in order to complete the transaction,” he said. “We feel like it will give people the ability and the comfort level to be able to spend their money here in our town, and it will help merchants that are setting up on the sidewalk for a festival or in the parking lot for some type of event.”


The introduction of free public Wi-Fi in downtown Harlan is a significant achievement for the community. It addresses connectivity issues, supports local businesses, and enhances the experience for visitors during events and festivals. This initiative demonstrates Harlan County’s commitment to embracing modern technology and ensuring that its downtown area remains a vibrant and connected hub.

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