Alia Malik

San Antonio will leverage traffic lights to expand fiber network for students

The city of San Antonio will leverage traffic lights in its plan to connect 20,000 students’ homes to their schools’ wireless networks. “In order to get into a neighborhood, you have to go where the infrastructure is,” said Craig Hopkins, the city’s chief information officer. The city will build LTE wireless broadband connections off an existing fiber-optic cable network that runs for 1,000 miles above and below ground and links libraries, police stations, public safety radio systems — and remotely operated traffic signals.

Digital divide suddenly wider

In San Antonio, schools, under a state directive, now must provide “remote instruction” and many will start March 30. Although several districts are offering curbside pickup of paper packets, lessons largely will be given online — further exacerbating the digital divide in a city with one of the nation’s biggest income gaps. Even in better times, students who don’t have ready access to computers and the internet face greater challenges completing homework and college applications.