About the Digital Inclusion Project
The goal of the Digital Inclusion project is to grant all students, regardless of zip code, access to reliable internet access in their homes.
About SDPBC Municipal WiFi Networks
Through a partnership between Palm Beach County and the School District, a vast municipal WiFi mesh network is being installed to connect and empower more than 25,000 students. This partnership began with a groundbreaking 2008 pilot in Pleasant City where the County's Digital Divide program established a wireless network for students and families. In 2020, we are working to modernize and expand this network across communities in Palm Beach County to connect students and families for distance learning and a wide array of services and opportunities.
Information for Residents
- The WiFi Mesh Network is not 5G technology. It is a simple radio that connects broadband service to residences using WiFi extenders.
- The municipal WiFi network in select areas will provide free wireless internet access for Palm Beach County students who qualify.
- To qualify, students must reside within one of the priority coverage areas (once installed) shown in red on the Eligibility Map, attend a Palm Beach County public school, and qualify for Free or Reduced Meals. Click here to submit an application for free or reduced meals at any time.
- Work is underway to build the WiFi mesh network in the following municipalities: Belle Glade, South Bay, Pahokee, Canal Point, Lake Worth Beach, Riviera Beach, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Palm Springs, Haverhill, Lantana, Lake Park, Mangonia Park, Hypoluxo, and Unincorporated Palm Beach County.
- The WiFi mesh network is safe and meets federal guidelines. It is the same technology that is currently used in homes.
- City technicians might identify a wooden pole installation site on an easement near residential property. Be assured Palm Beach County has secured the needed permit(s) to do this work.
- Prior to the installation of the poles, the area is taped off to identify utility locations. This is done to prevent the disturbance of utilities.
- The County ensures that the placement of the wooden pole is either in a standard utility easement or in a traffic right of way that will not infringe on personal property.
- Palm Beach County is the owner of the poles and equipment and will be responsible for the ongoing maintenance.
- This project is primarily funded through Federal CARES Act dollars, supplemented by generous donations from our community partners including a donation of some of the poles by Florida Power & Light (FPL).
- “Students can access teachers, resources, and assignments via the web whenever and wherever they have an Internet connection.” TrustRadius. “How Technology Can Be Used To Enhance Practical Science.” 18 March 2019, https://www.trustradius.com/buyer-blog/how-technology-improves-education.
- “Students with Internet access have substantially higher digital skills, and these skills are a strong predictor of performance on pen-and-paper standardized tests, such as the SAT, PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9.” Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences. “Gaps in Broadband Access: Lagging Internet Contributes to Lagging Test Scores, Leaving Rural Students Behind.” 3 March 2020, https://comartsci.msu.edu/about/newsroom/news/gaps-broadband-access-lagging-internet-contributes-lagging-test-scores-leaving.
If you have any questions about the SDPBC Municipal WiFi Network coming to your area, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.