The Rosedale Union School District uses the tower to help the community access the internet

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — When COVID hit, the Rosedale Union School District decided to use its secret weapon to go beyond hotspots and bring internet connections to entire homes.

A radio tower was built in 2015 for Rosedale Union School buses to communicate with each other. When COVID hit, the union had someone go up the tower and install transmitters which would then send a radio signal to receivers in student houses. This way, it wasn’t just a hotspot for a few devices, but could provide internet to an entire household.

“If there was a family that already had the Internet and they couldn’t use it, either because the equipment was getting old or because it wasn’t configured for optimal use. We have ended up getting in and we made some changes to the wifi so they could learn properly,” said Britton Smith, director of information technology at Rosedale Union School District.

Smith says they’ve helped about 1,200 families this way and provided internet access through the tower for nearly 300 students. This, he adds, was crucial to ensuring that all students stayed on track in their studies.

The tower is also used by cellular service providers to boost signal for community members who use their services in the Rosedale area, not only to help students but everyone stay connected.

Although only about 50 students currently use the receivers, it has become crucial for many of these new students coming from another country, as much of the online work here is about learning the English language.

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