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Ogden School District To Build Free Internet Access Network For Some Students

(KSL TV)

OGDEN, Utah – Internet access is becoming essential to students, especially during the pandemic, and now the Ogden School Board is making it possible for needy students to get a free wireless connection to the worldwide web from home.

The board voted last week to build “Ogden SD LTE” (Ogden School District Learning & Technology Elevated).

A news release said before the pandemic the district was already working towards 1:1 technology which means getting each student a Chromebook or tablet and internet access. When the pandemic hit and all schools were required to switch to online learning the district accelerated the program.

With the addition of 1,000 personal hotspots, the district offered a reliable internet connection to needy families.

“Right now hotspots with unlimited data… from [a third-party vendor] cost about $20 per month. Looking at this model we’re looking at about $2 per month,” said Casey Bowden, the Ogden School District Chief Technical Officer. “Imagine what you could do with unlimited internet to any number of students in the district… it’s so amazing!” Bowden said.

A network of radio towers for the project could be completed within the year.

The release said the Ogden SD LTE will be accessed through only school-owned devices and give students unlimited access to educational information. The system will block students from getting on commercial, recreational, gaming, and video streaming sites.

“All of our Chromebooks would be preconfigured with our hotspots and our hotspots would be on our LTE back to our network, through our firewalls, our filtering; all of the safety precautions we have at school, they would get instantly at home,” Bowden said. “This technology has the potential to change Ogden School District forever.”

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