Some 25 schools, many of them rural, now have equipped buses with wireless Internet routers. NPR featured the Vail School District’s rolling study hall, traveling two and half hours daily through southern Arizona.
The routers, sold by Autonet, cost about $1000 per bus. “The same system has been offered as a dealer installed option by Chrysler for the last two years and General Motors recently announced that it would begin offering the units in some of its vehicles as well. The cost is relatively modest, with Chrysler charging about $500 for the unit and $30 per month for the wireless service.”
Billy and Julie Hudson, in association with Vanderbilt University, initiated a program to install wireless Internet in three buses operating in rural Arkansas school districts. Mr. Hudson is a native Arkansan. Their 3-year-old program, called Aspirnaut, also gives students laptop computers. Julie Hudson says it’s the cost of laptops that’s kept such rural wifi programs from proliferating.