• May 18, 2010
Over two dozen school districts across the country have equipped school buses with AutoNet mobile WiFi routers allowing students to access the 'Net on the go. The Autonet system is a basic wireless router like the ones that hundreds of millions of people use at home, but with an integrated EVDO cellular modem to keep connected on the go.

The same system has been offered as a dealer installed option by Chrysler for the last two years and General Motors recently announced that it would begin offering the units in some of its vehicles as well. The cost is relatively modest, with Chrysler charging about $500 for the unit and $30 per month for the wireless service.

Whether schools should be spending money on these types of services is debatable, but in rural districts like the Vail School District in Arizona, it could be a good way to distract students that have to ride the bus for two or more hours a day. Of course this is only helpful if the kids can actually afford a laptop or other internet-connected device.

[Source: National Public Radio]


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  • 19 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      F-U. Don't dump tax dollars into another black hole!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Some of these comments had me laughing.

      When I was a kid we rode on a bus that rattled, smelled like diesel exhaust, had no air conditioning, no heat, no safety glass, no seat belts, had terrible brakes, had bias-ply tires that would blow out with an ear shattering boom whenever it was least expected, and had a driver that burned through 3 clutches in a good year. Most of the time we entertained ourselves by sitting in the back and trying to see how high in the air we could go when the bus driver hit a bump. Or, by throwing paper and stuff at the driver. We couldn't wait until we were old enough to drive to school on our own.....even if it was in our mother's station wagon.

      Now, with the stuff kids have today, I almost wish I was back in middle school. Then again, with the stuff they have today I probably would have never gotten any work done.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I live in Tucson, near Vail, and they GIVE the students laptops while they're in school, they've replaced all the textbooks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Insane.

      Back when I was a kid we used to entertain ourselves on bus rides home by... what was it again, oh yeah... talking to our friends and enjoying each other's company.
        • 4 Years Ago
        agree.. I didn't know internet is so critical that kids need them even on a bus ride.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah well, when I was your age, talking and enjoying weren't even invented yet so we had to hold all that inside....while riding on the back of a brontosaurus.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Last I heard this thing still uses the old outdated WEP technology.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow, now kids like Matt and Brian can troll on Autoblog even while riding on the school bus.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It was bad enough when your kid couldn't survive a trip to the grocery store without the everpresent stimulus of The Lion King, but now my tax money pays for them to have Internet access on the ride to school? Can no one go 15 minutes without an always-on connection to YouTube and Facebook? Oh well, I'm sure the school district had money to burn so why not.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So instead of the guys being huddled around a porno mag, they will be huddled around a laptop looking at the porn superhighway.

      Yay progress!!!!

      • 4 Years Ago
      HAHA! This made me crack up. The vail school district doesnt even have buses with wifi yet. The only one we have isn't even in service because all it is, is a press machine. Oh and one of the schools in the district, Empire High School, provides the sutdents with laptops instead of textbooks.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Oh wow, Wi-Fi is everywhere (except my house) now. Even the oldest motel in the States apparently has a free Wi-Fi for customers...
      • 4 Years Ago
      And we wonder why our government budgets are out of whack!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hrm, I get the feeling that $30/month is the starter plan with very low transfer limit.

      http://www.autonetmobile.com/service/
        • 4 Years Ago
        @ anti-believer,

        i believe in your days jokes weren't invented either.
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