Montgomery Public Schools using buses as WiFi hotspots for quarantined students

Updated: Apr. 14, 2020 at 4:11 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Montgomery Public School system is keeping students connected while they are quarantined at home.

MPS is deploying buses with WiFi since many students do not have access to the internet at home. The school district is going to use buses as hotspots, thanks to a partnership between MPS, the City of Montgomery and TechMGM.

The city’s electronics radio team is outfitting school buses with WiFi transmitters. These buses will then become roaming hotspots to give students internet access for learning at home.

Buses in the Montgomery Public Schools fleet are being wired to become mobile wifi hotspots
Buses in the Montgomery Public Schools fleet are being wired to become mobile wifi hotspots(Source: Montgomery Public Schools)

“Because we understand there’s a digital divide," said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed. "And the coronavirus pandemic that we’re into right now has only heightened the chasm that exists between those who can access high-speed internet service and those who can’t.”

“The idea is that any parent, any child in any neighborhood where they see that yellow school bus, they can access the WiFi hotspot," said MPS Superintendent Dr. Ann Roy Moore. "They don’t have to be right down the street from their home. If they’re at home, it’s fine, but if they’re at their grandma’s house and there’s a bus down the road, they can also access from that location.”

MPS has 11 buses that can serve as hotspots. Six will roll out Wednesday. The remaining buses will roll out next week.

The first six buses will be located at:

  • The parking lot of Winn Dixie located on U.S. 31
  • Sikes and Kohn’s on U.S. 231
  • Cleveland Ave. YMCA
  • BP gas station on Union Academy Road and Alabama 94
  • Gibbs Village Boys and Girls Club
  • Alabama State University Football Stadium parking lot

Each bus, except the Cleveland Ave. YMCA bus, will be available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Cleveland Ave. YMCA bus will be available every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

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