Wireless coverage in Palo Alto's public school classrooms will increase "dramatically" thanks to a recent contribution of equipment by Google, Inc., the Palo Alto Unified School District said.
Google has contributed 350 "wireless access points" and other networking hardware to the Palo Alto Unified School District, the district announced.
The access points -- spread throughout the district's 12 elementary schools, three middle schools, two high schools and single preschool campus -- "allows us to stretch our educational dollars further and deliver excellent educational technology to our students," Superintendent Kevin Skelly said.
Neither Skelly nor the district's technology director, Ann Dunkin, could be reached immediately for further comment.
Paly student Sam Greene, a rising senior, said he had heard talk about the prospect of getting wireless access on campus.
"They were talking about implementing it," Greene said today in a phone interview from Princeton University, where he is participating in a summer program.
"They said they were going to open two servers -- one for teachers and administrators that's confidential, and one that's more open for students.
"I don't use the Internet that much at Paly, but I feel like if I had it I'd use it a lot more. At Princeton we have wireless access everywhere, and it's really helpful and it allows me to learn better," he said.
Greene said he does not think many Paly students have brought their laptops to school in the past, but many do carry iPhones.
The Google contribution will more than double the number of wireless access points on the school district's network, "allowing us to expand coverage to every classroom in the district and enable our high school students to connect their personal devices to our network," Dunkin said in a statement.
"This additional equipment will help us to build a more robust infrastructure to support the growing demands on our wired and wireless networks," she said.
Skelly added, "This is particularly appreciated at this time, when the district's budget is under extreme pressure."