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Aug 19

County, schools expand wireless connection options for students

Posted on August 19, 2020 at 4:14 pm by Clay Curtin

As San Mateo County continues to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize that internet access plays a crucial role, especially with students going into the new school year. The County partnered with local school districts to bring high-speed internet access to thousands of students in rural communities and low-income households. To accomplish this, the County began work with Ravenswood City, La Honda-Pescadero Unified, Redwood City, and Sequoia Union High school districts to quickly deploy wireless connectivity.

By working with the school districts and using the latest census track findings, the County can use data that identifies areas of concern where access is limited or non-existent. The County will also look at:  
  • Students who qualify for reduced-price or free meals
  • Students where English is a second language
  • Students who are homeless or who have reported connectivity issues
For qualified students attending schools in the Ravenswood City Unified school district, the County will:
  • Subsidize the cost of Comcast “Internet Essentials” program (normally $9.95 per month) for 14-months
  • Provide free access to T-Mobile’s “Empowered Education” program that provides students with portable mobile wireless hot spots for distance learning through the end of the school year
San Mateo County has more than 100 free public Wi-Fi facilities at parks, community centers and public spaces, which help residents to connect to county services, helping local businesses, supporting educational opportunities, and providing connectivity channels to those without. To find out where to find a free Wi-Fi location, visit the San Mateo County Public WiFi project website.