As Unit 4 students begin distance learning next week, the City of Champaign is working with Unit 4 Schools, i3 Broadband, Mesh++, Ameren Illinois, and Shadowwood Mobile Home Park to set up internet access for Shadowwood families. The project is made possible by a $20,000 grant from the UC2B Community Benefit Fund.
From the press release:
The project will provide wi-fi Internet connectivity for Shadowwood’s students which will allow them to connect directly to Unit 4 School’s online learning applications. This will be accomplished utilizing new mesh-network wi-fi technology developed by Mesh++. Headquartered in Chicago, Mesh++ recently got its start in the University of Illinois Research Park and its President and CEO, Danny Gardner, is a University of Illinois alum.
Underlying fiber connectivity for the project will be provided by i3 Broadband, who has waived all recurring fees for connectivity associated with this project while it is used to provide student access to online learning. Ameren Illinois is also assisting with the project by allowing the mesh-network equipment to be mounted on their light poles. Ameren Illinois and the City of Champaign will each provide bucket trucks and personnel to facilitate the equipment installation.
If the Shadowwood project is successful, they will look to expand it to other areas.
Photo from Champaign Unit 4 Schools Facebook page.