Google will present 4,000 Chromebooks and fund the usage of 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots for rural college students in California, who’re learning from house because of the COVID-19 pandemic, CNBC reports. The initiative, which was introduced by California governor Gavin Newsom and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, will enable college students to get entry to free and limitless Wi-Fi for no less than three months.
In California, EdSource reports that 20 % of scholars can’t get on the web. Google’s donation may lower this quantity in half, in keeping with California State Board of Schooling Linda Darling-Hammond.
“We’re offering 4,000 Chromebooks to California college students in best want & free wifi to 100,000 rural households through the #COVID19 disaster to make distance studying extra accessible,” Pichai wrote in a tweet. California’s faculties are scheduled to stay closed by the top of the varsity 12 months.
Proud to work with @GavinNewsom & companions to assist bridge the digital divide in our house state. We’re offering 4,000 Chromebooks to California college students in best want & free wifi to 100,000 rural households through the #COVID19 disaster to make distance studying extra accessible.
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) April 1, 2020
Nonetheless, extra assets are nonetheless wanted within the state. Newsom estimates that California will want 162,013 extra Wi-Fi entry factors along with these supplied by Google, SFGate reports. There are additionally questions on how helpful the 100okay cellular hotspots might be in areas the place mobile sign is weak.
This isn’t only a drawback in California, nevertheless. The so-called “homework hole” exists proper throughout the US, prompting requires the federal authorities to do extra to stage the enjoying area. The FCC has already taken steps to permit faculties to work with carriers to improve their web infrastructure, however one FCC commissioner needs the regulator to go additional, and supply Wi-Fi hotspots immediately to varsities to mortgage out to their college students.
“We should do what we are able to to assist these efforts succeed for all college students, together with those that fall into the homework hole and are at best threat of being left behind,” FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel wrote in a latest op-ed for The Verge.
Google’s contribution joins current initiatives introduced by Californian faculties to enhance their distant studying efforts. EdSource notes that San Francisco Unified has distributed over 5,200 Chromebooks to its college students since its faculties closed in March, whereas Los Angeles Unified has licensed a $100 million funding to offer laptops for its college students, and is partnering with Verizon to offer web entry.