RCSD looking to expand internet access for remote learning

Education

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester City School District will be receiving additional wireless internet equipment for remote learning in the district, but the allotted number for data use isn’t enough for some students to complete their work, and now the district is hoping to work with community organizations and purchase more data.

RCSD students using MiFi internet routers for online learning were given 10 gigabytes of data per month, as part of the 1 million project.

However, with live zoom streams, assignments and videos, many students are going over that limit, meaning lower internet speeds and some students struggling to complete assignments.

“Depending on cellular density, across the district students may have a very different experience where the MiFi may have more difficultly operating at 3G speed,” said Glen Vanderwater, chief technology officer RCSD.

The 1Million Project Foundation recently ended and the district has now been awarded 2,900 MiFi units as part of the 10million project, but there is one huge difference.

Instead of 10 gigabytes of data per month, which students were already going over, students will be allotted 10 gigabytes for the whole year, leaving leaders searching for a solution to providing students with more data.

“We also have the opportunity to move those MiFi’s to unlimited data and were working with governmental partners and philanthropist organizations to help cover the cost so that the MiFi we deploy to students will have unlimited data,” said Vanderwater.

The MiFi units will still connect to the internet, just at slower internet speeds once the 10gb of data is used.

For families who are having trouble, district officials have secured a special internet deal with spectrum available for purchase or families can utilize the free internet access at rec centers.

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