All 114 Shenandoah County Public Schools (SCPS) buses will be equipped with Wi-Fi by mid-December thanks to $400,000 in funding from the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) program, according to SCPS Director of IT Doug Culler in Harrison, Va.
The funding initiative covers the equipment, installation and one year of internet service for each bus, enabling students to work on studies on as they travel to and from school, as well as on field trips, athletics, or other extracurricular activities.
The equipment can be included on newly purchased from the factory, according to the SCPS.
To provide the most coverage possible, the Wi-Fi will run off both T-Mobile and Verizon networks, connecting to whichever network has the strongest signal. The wireless network will mirror the school’s network, so students’ Chromebooks will connect automatically, and include filters to block inappropriate content.
Authorized by Congress under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund’s $7.17-billion program is intended to help schools and libraries close the gap for students who currently lack necessary Internet access or devices they need to connect.