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How to Choose the Best System for Bus WiFi

You know why WiFi for school buses is important, but do you know how to choose a provider? Click here for a guide on how to select WiFi for a bus.

Company Blog

What can curb the ongoing problems of bullying, anti-social behavior, and incomplete homework from students?

The surprising answer comes in the form of innovative tech and its smart implementation.

Schools that provide WiFi for school buses have cracked the code to more productive students.

Likely, we understand how this can be of benefit. However, what features and benefits will best suit you in the search for the best service provider?

We’ve unpacked the features that you should be on the lookout for as well as their, often, unanticipated benefits below.

Do We Really Need WiFi for School Buses?

If you’re new to this topic, we’d like to clarify a couple of important points before diving in. A recent study on how a lack of internet access affects school-going children highlighted some stark and worrying facts.

  • Some 15% of U.S. households do not have access to high-speed internet access.
  • Around 60% of high school students rely on the internet to get homework done.
  • About 17% of lower-income teenagers are unable to complete homework assignments. They lack access to a reliable internet connection, and some don’t have a laptop.

During the COVID pandemic, the lack of internet access for certain communities leaped into focus. Students now used distance learning tools or remote classes.

Many had no reliable internet though and were in danger of being left behind.

This digital divide places vulnerable communities at a distinct disadvantage and makes Plan B a priority for these groups.

Identifying the Best System

Digital equity is imperative for the future of our children. WiFi systems on school buses go a long way toward addressing this issue and are proving a rapid solution to an ongoing problem. The following features are necessary if you’re serious about finding the best system for your fleet.

Portable

A good WiFi system is a portable one. What happens when school buses are retired, involved in accidents, or go off-road for servicing?

The self-contained WiFi units are removed and reinstalled in another vehicle; a cost-effective and practical feature, you’ll agree.

Fast and Simple Installation

Thankfully, you won’t need to know how to install WiFi for school buses as this is our forte. The systems from ConnectED Bus include a router, a modem, and an antenna and are installed quickly and efficiently by our professional nationwide installation team.

Multipurpose Equipment

Providing WiFi for school buses to be used for homework and research is just part of the equation. Today’s technology allows for a host of bolt-ons. GPS tracking, real-time access to onboard cameras, location alerts, and emergency response are just a few.

Fast and reliable internet linked to these smart tools solves problems that many schools could never anticipate. For example, students are less disruptive during long trips when they have use of WiFi. This makes for a safer trip, a stress-free driver, fewer incidents en route, and decreased driver turnover rates.

Real-time school bus surveillance serves to reduce bullying or anti-social behavior. It can also help with contact tracing to increase health and safety during the COVID pandemic.

While many of these additions don’t come as standard, the system you choose should be able to accommodate them seamlessly.

Extensive Multiband Connection

Communities with low internet access have been identified and heatmaps drafted to better assist them. These have benefited from mobile hotspots via school bus WiFi systems.

This signal can extend to provide a wide area hotspot around the school bus. It offers underserved communities access during certain hours in a safe, uncrowded space. A multiband system supplies a robust failover, ensuring a consistently reliable signal. In addition, cellular boosters compensate in remote or poor signal areas.

Multiple Users

Whether using the connection for the occupants of the school bus or as a hotspot for local communities, you’ll expect it to support multiple users. A high-speed connection provides the bandwidth for up to 60 users at a time without compromising on speed or signal.

Security

Secure internet access is the foundation of WiFi on school buses. Therefore, they need robust firewalls alongside filtered content and vigorous authentication methods. A student sign-on portal not only makes it easy for students to connect, ensures that your students are being productive and using the school bus WiFi for its intended purpose.

Remote Configuration

The necessity of keeping a close eye on school-supplied internet usage is critical. Cloud management is the obvious solution and provides remote system access for reporting, configuration, management, and deployments.

An intuitive dashboard is available for real-time access to information or troubleshooting. Camera footage is stored safely in the cloud for instant access, and integrated services monitored from a single console.

Compliance

Maintaining compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) to keep students safe from harmful internet content. These guidelines also assist in managing data usage by blocking sites that are data-heavy or inappropriate.

The service provider that you choose will ensure legal compliance and safe students.

Providing Productivity in Motion

Access to fast, secure internet for school buses provides an essential connection for students during regular school trips. Traveling to and from sporting events, and whilst on field trips allows them to complete research, homework, and projects. This frees up valuable downtime at home.

ConnectED Bus is working to bridge the digital divide by providing safe, consistent, and easily accessible WiFi for school buses. We've created our suite of products specifically for this purpose, and we strive to ensure that no student gets left behind.

If you have been wondering how to get internet on a school bus, and who to talk to, then we can assist. Please contact our professional team for information and installation details.