The Chula Vista City Council voted unanimously last night to an agreement with T-Mobile and potentially other telecommunication providers to purchase WiFi Hotspot devices and services for families in Chula Vista who need connectivity for their children to attend virtual classrooms.
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. Several factors were instrumental in the purchase. Due to COVID-19 and the closure of all schools, the approximately 69,500 students throughout Chula Vista have had to shift to online learning. 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. “We are happy that we can provide a necessary service to a section of our community when they need us most,” said Mayor Mary Casillas Salas. “Having these devices and the service will allow students to continue their education and not be left out during this pandemic.”