Get on the WiFi school bus: mobile Internet access for kids

I’ve been writing about WiFi-enabled buses in London, Estonia, Latvia and other parts of the world but now a very enterprising couple have outfitted school buses in rural Arkansas with Wi-Fi to provide Internet access to kids on their 90-minute bus journeys to and from school. The WiFi project by the Aspirnaut Initiative has been met with the usual “your brain will get fried from WiFi signals” complaints, but on the whole, giving kids more to do during their 90-minute ride other than pull one another’s hair is commendable.

I do wonder what kind of backhaul they are using for the buses. In the urban public transport cases I’ve reported, they use 3G and HSDPA. Does rural Arkansas have 3G / WiMAX backhaul?

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  1. Alain Baritault says

    It looks like its a cellular connexion… certainly 3G. They probably extended the range of some cells to avoid white zones along the road…

    “About 15 “high ability” middle and high school students will receive laptop computers, then board a bus equipped with broadband Internet access via cell phone towers”
    from the Vanderbilt University news on 03/20/2007