Rising Concerns Over School WiFi and Cell Service

Students+have+noticed+the+lack+of+connection+to+the+school+WiFi+network%2C+%22SDPBC+Wireless+Network.%22

Sarah Winters

Students have noticed the lack of connection to the school WiFi network, "SDPBC Wireless Network."

Ryan Jayne, Staff Writer

In the modern era, more and more people are becoming reliant on the digital world. Maybe even too reliant. Recently, students around Santaluces have noticed that they are unable to connect to the school WiFi from their phones. This is a problem because there is a major lack of cell service, and the only way to have access to internet-reliant services was through the school WiFi.

This does more harm than good, as teachers have started to involve cell phones in their curriculum for study activities such as Kahoot! or Suite 360. Science teacher Mrs. Renzette expressed her concerns over the issue of the lack of service and WiFi: “I tend to avoid having students use cellphones in my curriculum.”

The lack of service and now a lack of WiFi has also affected student life, and it’s starting to become a growing topic. Rahul Shrestha, senior, stated that his friends have brought this topic up in conversation before. “I have friends who are upset about this because they’re unable to text friends and do other things due to a lack of cell service and WiFi.” Guerdy Alfred, junior is concerned about her own school work and family: “I can’t reach my parents and go online when I need to.” Clearly, since this is a common conversation topic, the lack of WiFi and cell service is definitely a problem that needs to be fixed. 

Growing desperate, some students have started to find out the WiFi password of the network that everyone was formerly able to access. Some have been successful, and started to have people pay for access to the network. They will manually input it into other students’ phones in order to keep the password a secret. Now, the password supposedly changes every week or so, as the same passwords that have worked in weeks prior do not work anymore. 

Upon asking one of the IT employees at the school, the district did not give any reason in why this happened to the school WiFi, a problem that has existed since winter break. So why did this sudden change happen? 

Palm Beach School District IT staff gave answers to commonly asked questions. This problem with cell service and Wi-Fi is not just limited to Santaluces; it’s a problem with all schools. “As a result of their solid construction (i.e. concrete & steel), the cellular service provided by various carriers may not be strong enough to consistently penetrate the buildings,” says IT staff, stating the result of creating hurricane-proof buildings.

To answer the questions about the Wi-Fi, IT staff stated that personal devices can only access the Guest Network rather than the Wireless Network now. “All personal devices including student devices must install a District certification from certs.palmbeachschools.org. The certification and install process has always been required for a user who accepts using the District’s free public WiFi.” This essentially means that you must have a district certification in order to access the better WiFi network.

A majority of the questions about the lack of WiFi and cell service have now been answered, but if you have any more questions do not hesitate to reach out in the comments as other bits of information were provided, or contact district IT staff.