Delivering broadband, one Chromebook at a time

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado (KFQX) – Back then, being online was not an important part of education. Fast forward to post-pandemic 2022, that’s a big deal.

One of the Mesa County Commissioner’s main goals in the broadband update is to support education, “Children are learning more online, and there may be a need to go back online in the future.” “, says Mesa County Commissioner Cody Davis.

Mesa County School District 51 has been pushing for in-person learning since the pandemic began and now school officials are bracing for anything.

9,000 Chromebooks with wireless internet capabilities will soon be headed to D51 after the district received a $3.5 million grant. “Now everyone in the school district, every student has access to a Chromebook,” says Dan Burke, D51’s chief technology officer.

Commissioners are working to update internet services across the county and at the beginning of the long process is a needs assessment, “Who has it, who doesn’t, and then where do we find that it doesn’t. If it’s not the case or they’re underserved, we can focus with our dollars and the federal grants and the state dollars to focus and invest in those areas,” Davis says.

Commissioners want to ensure that major anchor institutions such as Mesa County libraries, government buildings and schools are all served by high-speed broadband. Burke says, “In a classroom, technology is obviously not the engine of education, but it is a great tool that is accessible to children and allows them to continue their learning. “

The population of Mesa County and most of Colorado is expected to skyrocket over the next few years.

Every county wants healthy growth, but having public infrastructure that keeps up with growth is another challenge. “We want to make sure we’re growing smart, that we’re not growing before our infrastructure, but with our infrastructure,” Davis says.

Commissioners say matching county growth with updated infrastructure will encourage new industries to come to our area and stay.

About Hannah Schaeffer

Check Also

Launches: SpaceX tests Starship, wins customers

SpaceX conducts an engine test on Starship 24 at its Starbase facility in Boca Chica, …