Groups provide broadband to S.C. housing project

“These devices are giving them opportunities—a tool to further their education,” said Christine Horowitz, director of instructional technology for Spartanburg District Seven. “When they take their iPads and computers home, it extends the learning day. Now we want to level the playing field for those without Internet access at home. This new program will benefit our students and their families.”

Horowitz says based on their last survey, the district estimates that 50 percent of its students still can’t access the internet from home.

The district partners with local business, churches and organizations to ensure there are Wi-Fi locations for its students, but its concern turned to the students living in public housing who may not be able to access even those locations, she said.

“Public housing authorities provide adequate and affordable housing, but no internet,” said Miguel A. Pastrana, IT Systems Analyst for the Spartanburg Housing Authority. “I am a big proponent of education, and this is a great opportunity to level the playing field for these students. At the Spartanburg Housing Authority, we are always looking for ways to assist or make an impact on our resident’s lives. By collaborating with Spartanburg School District 7, Kajeet and Novatel Wireless, we all now have the opportunity, not only to make a contribution to the residents and the community at large, but to the students who currently do not have many outlets and at times fell that no one cares.”

As part of the program, Kajeet and Novatel Wireless will provide Kajeet SmartSpot solutions–a MiFi brand mobile hotspot by Novatel Wireless–and the Kajeet Education Broadband to ensure the students are accessing safe, filtered broadband for educational purposes.

Because the devices are provided by the school district, the Spartanburg Housing Authority wanted to ensure the broadband being provided was filtered and managed to keep them on task.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione

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