Schools across the country have been finding success in implementing Wi-Fi in their school buses. It has proven to be an easy and inexpensive way to not only increase student exposure, but also to reduce wear and tear on the aging bus system. However, schools need to be sure they are using the technology in conjunction with the proper signal prioritization. Read this article, because we will outline the top three issues to consider while implementing Wi-Fi in the school bus.
The first issue is signal prioritization. All cell phone service providers will deliver signals based on which side of the signal network the device is positioned on. This means, if a child is sitting in the front seat of a school bus, the signal provider will want the bus to send its signal to that child's teacher and not the back of the bus. Wi-Fi in school buses can prioritize signals based on the school bus users IP address. This ensures that Wi-Fi receives the best signals and that data is not corrupted by other users.
The second issue to consider is limiting the number of users. Most schools have a limited amount of desk space for users and children, and these users must stay within the signal to avoid being bumped or hit by other students. With a wired network, each child can have access to one desk at a time. Wireless school buses give each child free access to a wireless laptop. While this makes it convenient and easier for students to use the Wi-Fi during school hours, it limits the amount of desk space available.
The third issue is limiting the use of Wi-Fi in school buses to improve signal prioritization. A school bus signal prioritization algorithm will assign certain channels of frequency to different users, depending on whether they are parents of students, employees, or contractors. As wireless networks gain popularity among consumers, the channels and frequency of Wi-Fi are expected to expand. It would be difficult for school bus signal prioritization algorithms to prioritize traffic based on physical location, so avoiding the risk of collision would be a major benefit.
Some school buses have also considered using wireless Internet service (WISP) on board. WISP allows multiple users to connect via a laptop or tablet computer. This would allow for faster Internet speeds and better connectivity between students. However, many school bus operators and administrators believe that adding wireless Internet to school buses would increase costs and be a distraction to drivers. WISP also requires training to employees and maintenance workers who may accidentally access the Internet during operation. This may increase training costs for schools and reduce their ability to provide training for staff members who may not be as knowledgeable about wireless Internet.
One of the biggest obstacles to Wi-Fi in school buses is the cost. Wi-Fi in school buses can be expensive to install and require extensive wiring. This adds considerable costs to the capital budget of a school district. Most school districts are already experiencing budgetary cuts, so expanding Wi-Fi in school buses would be a huge financial investment. Wireless Internet may not be a priority for school districts in the next few years; however, it is a definite consideration for the future. Check out for RhinoWare Connect.
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