Next week the city of Sacramento will begin deploying 10 buses that will act as wireless hotspots to provide WiFi to areas of the city that are less well-connected.
Each bus will provide 3 ½ hours of wireless service at two locations a day. The hope is that the buses will make it easier for people with less wireless availability to work from home or attend school digitally.
For the week beginning on May 4, three buses will be deployed and available at the following times:
WiFi Bus #1
8:30 a.m.-noon: Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 7340 24th Street Bypass, Sacramento
3 p.m.-6:30 p.m: John Still Elementary, 2250 John Still Drive, Sacramento
WiFi Bus #2
8:30 a.m.-noon: Ethel Baker Elementary, 5717 Laurine Way, Sacramento
3 p.m.-6:30 p.m.: Pacific Elementary, 6201 41st Street, Sacramento
WiFi Bus #3
8:30 a.m.-noon: Max Baer Park, 7851 35th Ave., Sacramento
3 p.m.-6 p.m.: Del Paso Heights Library, 920 Grand Ave, Sacramento
Schedules and locations between Monday, May 4 and Friday, May 8 are also available at thewifibus.com.
The hotspots will have a range of about a third of a mile, or 1,800 feet. The city said that it expects that people will come and gather either in their cars, or at an appropriate social distance around the buses to use the service. They will not be allowed to enter the bus.
Beginning on May 11, the buses will be available seven days a week and seven more buses will be sent out. Hotspot locations and protocols will be determined in collaboration between the city of Sacramento, Valley Vision, Sacramento Public Library, SacRT, the California State Transportation Agency, and public health officials. Priority will be given to locations who have input from local schools and community organizations around connectivity needs.
Approximately one in five students in California lack high-speed internet access and nearly half of all low-income households in the state don’t have broadband service at home.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said he hoped the buses would make distance learning easier for students.
“These mobile WiFi Bus hotspots will help remedy the lack of internet access that threatens to leave thousands of our students farther behind. I thank all of the partners who worked to make this happen, and I hope to see it replicated on a larger scale around California,” Steinberg said.
The buses will be in service for the next 60 days, after which the city will reassess need.
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