Google and Kajeet team up to bring Wi-Fi to school buses
Kajeet has recently revealed that it has struck a partnership with Google in order to provide Wi-Fi connectivity in school buses. Google has an initiative called Rolling Study Halls, and the aim of this project is to equip school buses with Wi-Fi connections in a dozen states across America beginning this year. To make this happen, the tech giant is acquiring the services of none other than Kajeet in order to power the Internet for the buses.
Much has already been said about the so-called “homework gap” and how it continues to affect kids in rural areas in the United States. For those not familiar with this phrase, it basically means the gap between students who can finish their homework because they enjoy access to the information superhighway, and those that can not simply because they live in a household that could not afford a web connection. Various major players in the mobile, wireless, and tech industries have already tried to lend a hand in bridging the homework gap. Back in August of last year, national wireless service provider Sprint had promised to provide Internet connectivity to around 180,000 low income high school students by way of its 1Million Project.
Of course, Google is doing its part, too. But the tech giant’s focus is more specific -- providing Wi-Fi connectivity in school buses, which will not only help kids without Internet connections at home, but also give an opportunity for some students to be productive even when stuck on long bus commutes. According to Google, it has already conducted pilots of its Rolling Study Halls initiative in the states of North Carolina and South Carolina. The company is now looking to expand the project to 16 more school districts in rural regions across the country.
As for Kajeet, its collaboration with Google presents an opportunity for the former mobile virtual network operator to reinvent itself. The company was primarily known as an MVNO and a seller of mobile devices designed for kids, but back in July of last year, it had decided to shut down its wireless service for good. In the wake of its MVNO service discontinuation, it had to forge a deal with another MVNO, TPO Mobile, so that its displaced customers could get a new home.
But now, Kajeet’s focus now is catering to the education sector. Right now, the firm is joining forces with 127 school bus fleets in 34 states across America in order to give student riders Internet connectivity. Kajeet has done this by setting up a cellular modem inside the buses, which transmits a Wi-Fi signal to kids. The company is also collaborating with more than 400 school districts that offer students Internet connections at home, made possible through hotspot devices provided by Kajeet.