Wi-Fi On the Way to School

Wi-Fi On the Way to School

More school buses across the country could be fitted with Wi-Fi after a recent vote by the Federal Communications Commission.

In a 3-2 vote along party lines, commissioners will allow school districts to use money from the E-Rate program, which helps schools and libraries buy affordable broadband, toward Wi-Fi and supported devices on buses, according to an article in USA Today.

Matt Fedders, the superintendent of the Vermont school district that Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel visited, told USA TODAY some of his rural students face daily commutes bordering on an hour. He’s hoping the language change approved at the hearing will allow him to cover some of the ongoing costs associated with a bus Wi-Fi program his district already has underway.

“We have a lot of students who do not have any reliable internet in their homes,” he said. 

The measure was supported by AASA, The School Superintendents Association and several national rural education associations. 

Fedders said the devices on buses in his district have the same firewalls and security measures as the network in the school building. 

“We are able to limit the access to content that we do not want them using,” he said.

Keith Krueger, CEO of the education technology group the Consortium for School Networking, said a recent survey from his organization showed only 13 percent of districts say they provide Wi-Fi on school buses.

“From our perspective and the vast majority of educators, they see great value in recapturing time that students are commuting to school,” he told USA TODAY.

USA Today

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