School buses are now mobile hotspots for internet in Caldwell County

Wifi school buses bring internet to students

LENOIR, N.C. (WBTV) – With school doors closed across North Carolina, many children are falling behind in studies because of a lack of internet.

In Caldwell County, officials say many parts of the county have cell signals too weak to use to get online and many families can’t afford internet in the first place. The solution, they figured out, was to use the school buses to take the internet to the kids.

A partnership involving the school system, the Educational Foundation of Caldwell County, and Google developed a program where high powered WiFi could be set up in school buses. The systems allow for anyone within 300 to 400 feet to go online.

Though it was designed to help children keep up with homework, it is open for all in the community.

“Everybody’s been able to use it,” said Kings Creek School Principal Melissa Costin.

In her part of the county, there is very weak cell service and something was needed. A bus equipped with the hotspot equipment was parked outside her school on Tuesday.

A total of 30 more buses with the same equipment installed were parked around the county as well helping people connect.

School officials will be adjusting the placement of the buses in the next few weeks in order to get optimum use out of the system.

They urge anyone who wants to use it to check the Caldwell County Schools Webpage for the latest on locations and hours.

By Steve Ohnesorge| April 28, 2020 at 7:24 PM EDT – Updated April 28 at 7:24 PM

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