North Carolina announced Wednesday that it would be sourcing as many as 280 school buses equipped with Wi-Fi across the state so that students without internet will be able to access and complete their online learning requirements.
The Wi-Fi-equipped buses were made possible by contributions from Google, AT&T and the Duke Energy Foundation, according to a release from Gov. Roy Cooper (D).
“In many communities, school buses are already delivering meals to students and their families. Now they’re delivering Wi-Fi for online learning,” Cooper said.
The first 156 buses are expected to be rolled out in 29 counties on Wednesday.
The mobile hot spots will also be available for residents to use for other critical needs such as applying for unemployment and connecting with their health care providers.
North Carolina had already set up hundreds of free Wi-Fi locations for its residents to utilize during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Tar Heel State isn't the first to offer Wi-Fi buses for students, as districts in California, South Carolina, Indiana and Illinois have all done the same.
At least 40 states and Washington, D.C., have announced that they won't return to in-person schooling for the rest of the academic year, with North Carolina being one of those states.