Drones Bring Internet to Students in Rural Wisconsin

Zacc Dukowitz

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Students in the rural Wisconsin school district of Northland Pines will soon be getting access to the internet by drone. Any student in the district who doesn’t have a reliable internet connection at home will be able to tap into the program, significantly expanding connectivity throughout the district.

In order to use drones to bring the internet to students, WiscLift outfits them so they essentially become flying cellphone towers.

The drones can then boost cell signals in the surrounding area, making signals strong enough for students to establish reliable connections that aren’t possible with existing infrastructure.


Read today's post to learn more about the internet-by-drone program in the Northland Pines School District, and why it could be important for students all over the U.S.—not just those in Wisconsin.

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A tethered drone seems like a good solution for a quick hotspot, Or, for one that needs to move to different locations during the day.  For a multi-day (weeks/months)  solution, a pole in open terrain or a tree mount if in the woods is far more simple, practical and affordable.

It the earlier days of commercial uas operations, sometimes guys were trying to use drones to provide a solution for which there was really no practical need.  This case seems just like that.  But, hey, some folks get to play with drones and get paid for it with a grant.  And, they get some nice press during the pandemic.

As a business model, it just doesn't work, IMO.

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There are just too many variables, wind, rain, component failure etc for this to be practical.  It would interesting to know how high and how far the signal.  These things will need to be checked up on constantly.  


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