JCSS awarded eight wi-fi devices for buses

Internet access soon will be more — well — accessible for students in the Jackson County School System when wi-fi devices donated to the state of Georgia by AT&T are deployed on school buses across the county.

Eight of the 448 Wi-Fi Rangers donated will come to JCSS, one of 36 rural school systems chosen across the state. The donation will help fill the internet connectivity gap for thousands of students and triple the number of Wi-Fi buses in the state.

Each district will create its own mobilization plans for placing the Wi-Fi Rangers on school buses or other public vehicles to reach the highest numbers of unserved students in their communities. Each Wi-Fi Ranger can enable internet connections for up to 45 devices at one time.

Governor Brian P. Kemp announced the donation from AT&T to the Georgia Department of Education’s Foundation for Public Education, on May 13.

All 36 school systems chosen are located in rural Georgia, including Madison and Banks county in our area. System selection was based on factors that included the poverty level of the school population, the student-to-device ratio in a school’s existing technology inventory, and the school’s status on either the Comprehensive Support and Improvement or Targeted Support and Improvement lists.

AT&T’s donation includes two free months of service for each device. Additional grant funding was applied to extend the impact of the initiative to an additional three months of service for each device.

“AT&T is doing our state a great service, helping us take a step forward to address the lack of available broadband connectivity for Georgia students,” Gov. Kemp said. “This issue has come into sharp focus during the COVID-19 pandemic as so many rural students struggle to continue remote learning without internet access.

“We thank AT&T for recognizing that the children affected by this lack of connectivity are the young people who represent our future. Their generosity will leave a lasting legacy.”

Click here to read more from the Georgia Department of Education’s media release.