WiFi on Wheels partners recently gathered for a vehicle demonstration which included Kamaile Academy Principal Paul Kepka, Partners in Development Foundation Program Manager Terry Nakamura, PIDF Teaching Assistant Napualani Kealoha, HawaiiKidsCAN Executive Director David Miyashiro, and PIDF Teaching Assistant John Nihipali.
In an effort to address disparities in broadband internet access highlighted during Hawaiʻi’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Kamehameha Schools has teamed up with Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF) and HawaiiKidsCAN to provide students and families with internet connectivity support.
The initiative, dubbed “WiFi on Wheels,” launched in September and provides students and their families at West Oʻahu’s Kamaile Academy Public Charter School and other members of the community with high-speed internet to support their distance learning needs.
KS West Oʻahu Regional Director Kalei Kailihiwa shared that the effort has also provided users with the opportunity to take care of additional kuleana such as telehealth and other social service appointments, as face-to-face contact has been reduced and or omitted all together because of the pandemic.
The WiFi on Wheels mobile connectivity hub is equipped with a router contributed by Cradlepoint and unlimited wireless data from AT&T available at a radius of 100 to 200 feet, depending on the terrain of the area. PIDF staff member operate the van, which is parked at various locations throughout the Waiʻanae community from about 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
David Miyashiro, whose organization HawaiiKidsCAN has been a leading proponent for the WiFi on Wheels initiative in Hawaiʻi, is working with additional community partners to roll out more vans to areas such as downtown Honolulu and on Maui, Molokaʻi and Hawaiʻi Island.
Learn more about KS’ involvement with WiFi on Wheels through the following news stories:
WiFi on wheels delivers internet to westside families, promoting distance learning
Hawaiʻi Public Radio
The WiFi on Wheels mobile connectivity unit features a high-speed internet router affixed to the top of a van which is deployed to various areas around the Waiʻanae community assisting users with connectivity needs.