Story at a glance:

  • Wi-Fi is limited in Green Bank, W.Va.
  • Connecting online is punishable by a fine worth $50.
  • For some high school students, they have to drive long distances to have internet access or download the latest OS on their devices.

In Green Bank, W.Va., home to 250 people, Wi-Fi is banned. However, this has not stopped one student, by the name of David Bond, from hacking into a middle school teacher’s computer to connect online.

Bond used a cinder block–walled room strewn with musical instruments to hack on the net. The student admitted to the crime, saying he just wanted to go on social media, according to Slate.

According to Business Insider, connecting online is punishable by a fine worth $50.


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The absence of Wi-Fi is to protect the work of the Green Bank Observatory, home to the largest fully steerable telescope in the world.

The large radio telescope detects radio waves that stars and pulsars emit from space. Wi-Fi is limited in the region so as not to interfere with the telescope’s radio frequencies. The town has fallen under The Quiet Zone since Nov. 19, 1958, The Green Bank Observatory’s official website states.

At Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, teachers can't use “smart” whiteboards in class, and it takes weeks to rotate students through wired computer suites for online assessments. 

On GreatSchool, a reviewing website of institutions, Green Bank Elementary-Middle School received a 3 out of 10.

The website also reveals that 53 percent of the students come from low-income households.

“Some of these kids are very poor, but they still have an iPhone 7 or whatever,” said Greg Morgan, a music teacher at Green Bank Elementary-Middle School, Slate reported. 

Within a 10-mile radius of Green Bank Observatory, Wi-Fi is not allowed, and the student who created the hotspot has reportedly created one before.  

Even when a school like Pocahontas County High School is out of the Green Bank Observatory’s reach, Wi-Fi is distributed by temporary connection codes before the password is reset for $20 per session.

For some high school students, they have to drive long distances to check on social media updates or download the latest OS on their devices.


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Published on Sep 13, 2021