DUBUQUE, Iowa - As internet becomes less of a want and more of a need for students, the Dubuque Community School District is now giving students Wi-Fi access even on their ride home.
"I use the internet to get my homework done, to go on Canvas, YouTube and listen to music," said student Piper Bries.
Bries, a sixth grader at Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School, is now able to use the internet on her 30 minute bus ride home to get homework done thanks to a pilot program.
"Web connectivity is critically important and it's something that students expect and need and I've heard that it`s been referred to as the next utility, that it`s so important in our lives," said Mike Cyze, Director of School and Community Relations.
Currently, there are only seven buses with Wi-Fi, those buses have some of the longest routes and are used for sports and school trips.
The internet is also monitored just like it would be if the students were using it inside school.
"In terms of prohibited sites, things that aren't appropriate, those are already blocked through our content filtering and so these Wi-Fi devices on buses actually replicate that security," said Cyze.
The district is using money from the one-cent sales tax the district receives to fund it.
It costs the district $11,000 to install the devices and they expect it to cost around $3,300 per year for services.
If the program goes well the district hopes to expand to more buses.