Policy & Funding

Congress Wants to Fund WiFi on School Buses

A bipartisan group of senators have introduced a bill to make it easier for students to get their homework done on buses through installing wireless internet connectivity.

Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) is introducing legislation to make changes to the Federal Communications Commission's E-rate program to reimburse school districts who put WiFi on school buses. The E-rate program is the FCC's program to help schools and libraries obtain affordable broadband services under the Universal Service Administrative Company.

"It's time to end the homework gap and set our kids up for success. By extending internet access to students while they commute to and from school, this bill would turn travel time into study time, enabling kids to complete their homework before they get home," said Udall. "As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I'll continue to push for innovative, 21st century solutions to help bridge the digital divide that hurts too many rural, tribal, and low-income communities across New Mexico through strong federal investment in broadband and internet infrastructure." 

CoSN CEO Keith Krueger expressed his support for the bill as part of an effort to help students from low-income families gain access to WiFi connectivity.

"E-rate funding has helped school leaders invest in technology infrastructure and upgrade their learning environments," said Krueger.  "The forward-looking proposal introduced by the bipartisan group of senators would take the program to the next level and strengthen its impact across America."

The full text of the bill can be found here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

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