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Chula Vista to provide WiFi devices for students in need

Posted at 1:48 PM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 16:50:18-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- Students in Chula Vista who need connectivity help to continue their education remotely will be receiving assistance from the city.

Chula Vista officials said the city reached an agreement with T-Mobile “and potentially other telecommunication providers” to buy WiFi hotspot devices and services for families whose children need online access for distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials said the closure of all city schools has forced nearly 70,000 students to learn in virtual classrooms.

In a news release, officials said, “The City is purchasing 2,000 WiFi Hotspot devices and service from T-Mobile to increase access to selected families. Funding for the devices and service, totaling $650,000, will be paid by the Public Education Grant Fund (PEG) budget and will not affect the City’s general fund.”

“Students impacted by the digital divide are at an increasing disadvantage as access becomes the central barrier to success for school-aged children. Families in the community without internet service have also been difficult to reach with information about COVID-19. Without broadband access to the internet, the community is at greater risk due to the inability to reach them in a timely and easily accessible manner,” officials added.

Officials did not say when and how the devices would be distributed.

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said, “We are happy that we can provide a necessary service to a section of our community when they need us most. Having these devices and the service will allow students to continue their education and not be left out during this pandemic.”