SpaceX wants to put Starlink Internet on school buses so kids can do their homework

What just happened? SpaceX is working with select school districts to pilot a program to provide Wi-Fi on buses, turning “ride time into connected time.” In a recent letter to the Federal Communications Commission, SpaceX argued that no service is better positioned to bridge the “homework gap” than Starlink. SpaceX targets rural school districts where commutes take more than an hour each way and often lack access to other mobile broadband services.

More SpaceX pointed The vast majority of participating students will not be able to access high-speed broadband at home. According to the mentioned numbers, the estimated 17 million students in the United States do not have an Internet connection at home.

Earlier this year, FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworsel announced a… suggestion To allow federal funding to be used to put Wi-Fi on school buses.

This “rolling classroom” sounds like a great idea on paper, but I’m not convinced it will translate to the real world. Honestly, no one wants to do their homework on the bus. Loud a lot going on. Children play and visit with their friends. Good luck being productive in that environment.

Maybe I’m the one I don’t communicate with, but is all homework these days internet based? What happened to book assignments and paperwork? What about the possibility of motion sickness? Sticking my head on the screen while on the trolley for more than an hour would undoubtedly make me nauseous when I got home or to school. If anything, I imagine the kids would be using the onboard Wi-Fi to watch videos or play games.

Google tested a similar program in 2018 called Rolling Classroom. In addition to portable Wi-Fi, this program provided students with an onboard tutor to help with homework assignments. If this was a great idea, I think Google would have expanded the program and we would have heard a lot about it by now.

image credit: David McElweeAnd the Joshua Hohen

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