The City of McAllen has recently made free Wi-Fi hot spots available throughout the city. The McAllen Independent School District made available equipment necessary for the connection points to provide the Wi-Fi spots.
With public schools across the Rio Grande Valley going virtual through April, many families who do not have internet service in their homes are struggling to find a way to fulfill these assignments.
“These are just some of the great things that government agencies can do when we work together,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez. “Alone, this project was too cost-prohibitive to make a reality for either the City of McAllen or McAllen ISD, but thanks to the great partnership that we have always had with M.I.S.D., we were able to fast-track this project to help all of our students continue with their academic education that is still so vital and necessary.”
Echoing this sentiment is McAllen I.S.D. Superintendent Dr. J. A. Gonzalez.
“We have always had an excellent working relationship with the City of McAllen. In our response to COVID-19, we are requiring children remain at home as the learning continues. Many of our families will benefit from access to a hot spot so they can stay in communication with their teacher, turn in work and continue with their education. We appreciate the City of McAllen’s help in making this possible,” concluded Gonzalez.
A $2.4-million investment
The City of McAllen had invested in a fiber optic infrastructure that covers the entire city. More than 60 miles of high quality, high-speed fiber optic cable services the area. The cost for such infrastructure was approximately $2.4 million. McAllen ISD made available the equipment necessary to connect to the fiber optic to the City of McAllen. It also made the connections possible to provide the Wi-Fi service. The project, which had already been in the works, was fast-tracked to help students and families during the school furlough.
Many Wi-Fi hot spots are in McAllen City-School parks across the city. All public restrooms in these parks have been locked to public access for health purposes.
Officials caution that with an entire nation attempting to access the same internet across the country, delays and lags and service may be possible.