10-13-2021 SFPS Rolls Out WiFi on School Buses

SFPS Rolls Out WiFi on School Buses
Posted on 10/13/2021

SFPS has completed installing WiFi in its entire school bus fleet. The Federal Communication Commission’s Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) paid for installing the WiFi systems and SFPS' Educational Technology Note (ETN) will pay for the monthly WiFi service for all buses.


“This project will result in students having increased opportunities to connect online and engage in their learning.  This is a tremendous opportunity for students who lack reliable internet connectivity at home,” said SFPS Superintendent Hilario “Larry” Chavez.  “We’re delighted that the Federal Communication Commission has provided funding to meet this critical need.  Now, students on all our buses can continue their learning and complete assignments as they commute to and from home,” he said.


The $203,000 cost to complete the installation of WiFi on all SFPS’ school buses will be reimbursed by ECF funding.  Due to a past Google pilot program, seven SFPS buses were already equipped with WiFi.  ECF funding has outfitted SFPS’ remaining 68 buses.  The ETN will pay the $2,396 monthly WiFi service for the buses.

 

“This project will help SFPS strengthen its equity focus by providing students with additional access to internet-based lessons, the district’s Learning Management System (LMS) and other instructional materials.  Our student connectivity work is a multi-pronged approach, and bus WiFi is a critical additional resource to help break down the digital divide,” said Dr. Neal Weaver, chief information and strategy officer.

 

For the WiFi bus installation, SFPS is participating in the Kajeet SmartBus Solution, which includes Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)-compliant filters that block inappropriate sites.  Bus service is compatible with T-Mobile and Verizon service and will automatically link to the strongest available connection.


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