District wants to provide wireless network to poor students

The Plano, Texas, school district is looking for a way to close the digital divide between poor students and their peers. School officials envision a wireless internet network that would blanket the city and provide free online access to low-income families and students, and they hope to get there in about two years, reports the Dallas Morning News. There are technological and financial hurdles, as well as the failures of other municipalities and school districts that have tried similar plans. But Plano officials say providing Wi-Fi to low-income families is important and necessary for a student demographic that’s mostly cut off from the internet when they are away from school. If Plano ISD succeeds, wireless experts say, it would become one of the country’s first school districts to create a community wireless network. "We have families that are in dire need," said Jim Hirsch, the district’s associate superintendent of academic and technology services. "We are thinking that wireless is the way we can jump over the impediment of families not being able to purchase those services." School officials hope low-income students will finally be able to research school projects, log into the district’s educational software, and communicate with their teachers–all from home…

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