provided to The Santiva Chronicle
To assist with post-hurricane recovery and medical needs on Sanibel and Captiva islands, the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce is partnering with LeeHealth to provide five Starlink hotspots free of charge throughout the islands, accessible seven days a week during non-curfew hours, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“A huge thank you to LeeHealth for helping to make this happen for the betterment of our community as it struggles against all adds to put itself back together after Hurricane Ian,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “Boosting our limited reliable internet service during this time takes a firm step toward recovery through improved communication channels while on island.”
Residents, business owners, and contractors can access the free internet connections from the parking lots of the chamber’s Welcome Center, Bailey’s General Store, Island Inn, Jerry’s Foods, and the Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, 2406 Periwinkle Way, or ‘Tween Waters Island Resort on Captiva. Users can access the appropriate “leeco” Wi-Fi connection by using the password IANLEECO2022 at any of the five locations.
Starlink, a satellite internet constellation operated by SpaceX, provides satellite internet access coverage to 40 countries. It gave the state of Florida permission to deploy grants to areas with the greatest impact from the hurricane and post-storm needs.
“Our priority was to provide people in the most severely impacted areas easy, strong, and fast access to LeeHealth’s telehealth service when they get sick or hurt during cleanup procedures,” said Michael Nachef, chamber board member and vice president of government relations for LeeHealth, which has established 30 such hot spots throughout the county. “At the same time, it becomes a valuable, broader resource for people who need to get in touch with family, insurance companies, business contacts, and the likes. John Lai reached out to strategically located businesses on the islands that had access, stable power, and space for users to park and connect to reliable internet service.” Users can directly connect with LeeHealth’s post-hurricane medical resources at leehealth.org.
“Thanks also to our members who have offered their locations for the hotspots,” said Lai. “They are a prime example of how the island business community is pulling together to continue moving toward normalcy.”
For more information, contact the chamber at 239-472-1080.