Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced its pilot program to provide free Wi-Fi access to students in partnership with the Town of Forest City, Rutherford County Schools and PANGAEA Internet.

Facebook Free Wi-Fi

The social network giant said a small number of students residing in the neighborhood surrounding the Rutherford Opportunity Center (ROC) will be given free Wi-Fi access as part of the pilot program.

Facebook aims to build on school systems 1:1 initiative

In a blog post, Keven McCammon, site data center manager of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) said, “We’re hoping this program will build on the school system’s 1:1 initiative, which provides a personal laptop to every middle and high school student in the district.”

According to McCammon, more than 6,000 students received a laptop under the 1:1 initiative, but the school administration officials discovered that almost 50% of those students do not have internet access at home.

“Working together, we want to close that gap – we want all of our students to be able to take full advantage of the 1:1 program and use the Internet both at school and home,” said McCammon.

In a statement, Dr. Janet Mason, superintendent of Rutherford County Schools said, “One of the pillars of the 1:1 initiative is to ensure equal access to digital information for all students. When you can utilize technology to enhance educational opportunities for our county’s young people, everybody wins.”

“We are thrilled to have partners like Facebook, PANGAEA Internet, and the Town of Forest City who share this vision and are enabling us to take another step toward delivering on our promise,” added Dr. Mason.

Facebook to expand the program

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) successfully started the first phase of the pilot program today. The social network giant is working to expand the program to provide free Wi-Fi access that would cover more students in the Rutherford County School District.

McCammon emphasized that the social network giant needs to do more to build out its network and ensure the Wi-Fi works well for students. He said, “We are proud to continue our community outreach efforts and work with partners in Forest City to try to ensure that our students can enjoy all the benefits of connectivity.”

Students who want to test the free Wi-Fi access pilot program of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)  in the area should join the “Connect” network, and they are encouraged to send any feedback to PANGAEA at [email protected]

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) launched its free Wi-Fi access for students program after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a major initiative to expand the Wi-Fi networks in schools and libraries by providing additional $2 billion for its e-Rate program over the next two years.