Victoria Electric Cooperative provides internet access to Bloomington ISD students
Wireless internet provided through designated hotspots
VICTORIA, TX – Rural area students benefited from local broadband company Infinium powered by Victoria Electric Cooperative’s providing free Wi-Fi access points in the spring of 2020, allowing them a virtual link to their school’s online programming.
A report from the Federal Communications Commission found that the number of people lacking a connection of at least 25 Mbps downloads and 3 Mbps upload was 21.3 million in the United States at the end of 2017. Some 4.3 million were in rural America. Given the untold number of students living in homes without a broadband connection, especially in rural parts of Texas, Victoria Electric Cooperative (VEC), located in Victoria, TX, sought to provide a viable solution to students that lacked broadband connectivity in the early stages of COVID-19 closing many rural schools in South Texas.
On the brink of the COVID-19 pandemic, VEC responded with an e-rate program to provide schools a cost-saving program for internet access. This government-based program allowed schools to receive broadband internet at affordable rates at their sites.
The Wi-Fi access points were provided by Infinium powered by VEC as added value and were not part of this governmental program. “Bloomington ISD had the foresight to embrace this program for their students and it has paid off with over 20 students accessing the WiFi. Infinium is proud to provide a broadband internet solution with the speed, access, and reliability that was not currently available to so many so students could stay connected during this crucial time,” said Nina Campos, Human Resources and Communications Manager with Infinium.
Wi-Fi access points were placed in both Bloomington and Placedo Elementary parking lots which was crucial to keeping students connected as it is a rural area with few Wi-Fi access points and many homes without internet access. Security was also a concern, so Infinium collaborated with the school’s leadership to ensure integration with the schools’ internet security system for safe browsing.
“Bloomington ISD aimed to provide digital tools to keep students connected to learning during this pandemic and it wouldn’t have been achieved without Infinium’s solution of Wi-Fi access points in our rural community,” said Bloomington ISD Superintendent Mark Anglin.
“Education is the cornerstone and providing a clear and easy to connect option for students in need was the goal of our project,” said Campos. “This effort to provide Wi-Fi access directly correlates to our mission and we are honored to help our area students with the tools they need to succeed.”
To learn more about Infinium powered by Victoria Electric Cooperative, visit their website.
Source: Press release from Victoria Electric Cooperative.