Radio waves

South Carolina to use radio waves for additional Internet access at K-12

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster on Wednesday announced that the state would begin using the wireless signal of its public broadcasting system to help bridge the digital divide.

McMaster announced a $ 1.3 million investment in data broadcasting technology that will allow students without the Internet to access their school’s lessons using radio waves. South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman explained that students without a stable Internet connection will be able to remotely access educational materials like videos, pictures and text lessons on their personal computers during the pandemic in connecting to a broadcast signal with just a radio tuner and a TV antenna.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that students receive a first-class education,” McMaster said. “While data dissemination has traditionally been used to support public safety, the ability to provide coursework and educational content to students with limited or no Internet access, and about 20% of our state has not. good internet access. “

The state has estimated that the project will provide remote access to educational materials to up to 5,000 students in 34 South Carolina school districts, with priority given to districts with COVID-19 infection rates and conditions. higher student poverty rates. Officials said they would test the technology first in Fairfield, Jasper and York District One school districts before attempting a wider deployment.

The signal, which will be provided by South Carolina Educational Television, or SCETV, covers about 98% of South Carolina’s geographic area, according to the governor.

Data broadcasting is often used to provide metadata as well as radio or television signals, and to aid in the transmission of news, weather and traffic data.