Networking & Wireless
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Launches Wireless Hotspot Project
When school begins Aug. 29
for students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), some of them will be
able to borrow wireless hotspots from five
branches of the Charlotte Mecklenburg
Library in order to gain access to the Internet at home.
Sprint will donate 150 wireless
hotspots that students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools can use at home. A student can
borrow the battery-powered access device — similar to checking out a
book — for
as many as 30 days at a time.
in households without
online access are, increasingly, locked out of learning once school
said Charlotte Mecklenburg Library CEO Lee Keesler. "Giving CMS
ability to borrow a device that will let them access the Internet from
gives them the freedom to learn whenever they are curious. While this
is limited in scope, it could be a catalyst for future, larger
that we can ensure no child or family is left behind."
program is a component of One
Access, a collaboration between Charlotte's
library and school system that launched in the fall of 2015. It allows
pupils to check out books and electronic resources as well as access library
by using their student ID cards.
representatives estimated the cost of the project for the 2016-17 school year
$288,000. They estimated that 18 percent of households in Charlotte are
equipped with Internet access. The district has 146,000 students in 168
schools, meaning as many as many as 26,000 may not be able to use their
computers to study and do homework after school.
Sprint, its participation in One Access is part of a
two-year initiative that has provided wireless broadband connectivity
low-income K-12 students around the United States, at a reported
of $100 million.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.