Originally posted on The Post. 

Students of economically disadvantaged families in the Pottsgrove School District, who are unable to afford Internet service in their homes, will be the chief beneficiaries of the Board of School Directors’ authorization Tuesday (Oct. 13, 2015) to buy 25 wireless broadband devices at a cost of $9,364.

Board members unanimously approved the expense for Kajeet-brand Smart Spot 4G LTE units, accompanying management tools, and first-year wireless access. All will be paid for by revenue from Pottsgrove’s e-waste recycling program, district Technology and Communications Director Michael Wagman said. The program in part re-sells used equipment that is outdated or that the district no longer needs.

The fact that the purchase “would not affect our budget” was appealing, director Rick Rabinowitz said. Enhancing the district’s ability to provide wireless Internet “to our most needy students,” and allow them to benefit at home from Pottsgrove’s one-to-one computing initiative, was even more important, he added.

The wireless units are checked out by students from the district inventory on an as-needed basis, and then promptly returned for use by others.

Pottsgrove is buying the devices from Verizon Wireless, and the amount represents a one-time cost. Operation of the devices in subsequent years, which also will be paid for with recycling funds, was estimated at about $5,800 annually, depending on how much data students use.

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