AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — On Feb. 22, Amarillo Independent School District held a board meeting, where the idea and plan to provide AISD students with basic Broadband internet was presented and discussed.
This would potentially be done through the help of the City of Amarillo.
Amarillo ISD’s Superintendent, Doug Loomis, stated, “When the city came to us and said let’s talk about how we might become a city that offers broadband… In our minds, that was a game changer.”
Richard Gagnon, the City of Amarillo’s Chief Information Officer and IT Director, said that they have the goal of presenting an update at the end of March. At that time, Gagnon said they will have an idea of what a solution looks like and a better idea of the total cost.
Gagnon stated, “The digital divide, or in this case the divide of those who have adequate internet access and those that don’t. That’s not a new problem in our community.”
According to the AISD Board Meeting, it would be a part of the city’s private network so they can control the density of the users connect.
Ernest Jones, AISD parent, spoke with our team today about his previous experience with virtual learning and the stress of limited internet access, along with how the help of basic Broadband internet access for AISD students would be a great help.
Jones shared, “I had to use the Wi-Fi on my phone, just so they could do their schoolwork. You know and then they had to… one time, it cut off and I had to wait until the next billing session. I don’t have that kind of.. I’m on social security. I don’t have that kind of money.”
Additionally, Jones stated that he believes everyone should have equal access to the internet.
The basic network would block sites, such as Netflix and gaming to keep the costs low.
If the motion is approved, the school district hopes to have towers up this summer and ready for next school year.
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