IC Bus and Kajeet Expand Partnership to Provide a Comprehensive Wi-Fi Solution, Empowering Schools to Enable Student Success through Safe and Reliable Internet Connectivity and Transportation

Mar 12, 2021Bus, Fleet, Industry News, International, News

IC Bus®, the leading school bus manufacturer and a subsidiary of Navistar, and Kajeet®, a leading provider of IoT connectivity, software and hardware solutions that deliver safe, reliable and controlled internet connectivity to students, enterprises, state and local governments and IoT solution providers, today announced an expanded partnership to make the Kajeet SmartBus hardware and service bundle available to all new and existing buses from IC Bus. The expanded partnership delivers the industry’s first school bus to come standard with a comprehensive Wi-FI solution including hardware, software, data and support. As part of the new agreement, the Kajeet SmartBusä solution and one year of free service will also now come standard on all electric buses from IC Bus.

“IC Bus is constantly working to stay at the forefront of safety and technology; bringing them into the school bus industry in a way that provides benefits for both students and our customers,” said Trish Reed, vice president and general manager, IC Bus. “We live in a truly connected time. Internet connection is no longer nice to have, it is nearly required. We are proud to work with Kajeet to offer a simple, comprehensive and effective way for school districts to provide internet connectivity to its students during transit and enable all the resources that come with it.”

According to the Journal of Planning Education and Research, students’ average commute to and from school is around 40 minutes per day. For students who live in rural communities or participate in extracurricular activities where travel is required, the time spent on a school bus can add up to several hours each day. As schools across the U.S. prepare to reopen, the Kajeet and IC Bus partnership will empower school systems to build a more resilient educational infrastructure by ensuring equitable access to safe and reliable internet connectivity and transportation. Together, Kajeet and IC Bus deliver a safe “mobile homework zone” for students, enabling them to take advantage of their commutes to complete assignments rather than doing it later at home.

“The shift to remote learning over the last year greatly exposed vast digital inequities among students, and those without reliable internet access are now even further behind,” said Daniel J. W. Neal, chairman, CEO and founder of Kajeet. “Our goal with this partnership is to support school systems as they welcome students back to learn in-person and to close the digital divide. We’re excited to expand our partnership with IC Bus and to further enable student success through secure, technology-enabled school buses.”

In addition to promoting student success, Wi-Fi enabled buses have also been found to reduce the number of incidents occurring on the bus. Raytown School District in Missouri was an early adopter of including Wi-Fi on their school buses and was part of the SmartBus pilot program. After having Wi-Fi connectivity available on their school buses, their number of disciplinary referrals dropped 45 percent.

“I was not surprised to see that when kids are busy and have something to work on, they’ll stay out of trouble,” said Kevin Easley, director of transportation, Raytown School District. “I was shocked at the anecdotal and data reports of how much better it was, though. I wasn’t expecting those kinds of numbers.”

Kajeet was built for education and with the safety of students in mind. Its SmartBus solution is provisioned on its CIPA-compliant IoT management platform, Sentinel®. Beyond simply Wi-Fi, Sentinel provides administrators with complete visibility into data usage on all connected devices as well as educator-specified mobile policy controls, content blocking and website filtering to ensure students stay safe and on track. The platform is compatible with all major U.S. carriers, guaranteeing strong network connectivity regardless of the bus location.

Today, more than 3,000 K-12 school districts, higher education institutions and libraries, and over 1,000 school bus fleets across North America rely on Kajeet to provide safe and reliable internet access to students.

IC Bus is the market share leader in the school bus industry. Focused on safety and technology, the company was the first to make electronic stability control and collision mitigation standard on its buses. With this expanded partnership, the company is taking another step in offering the safest and most technologically advanced school buses in the industry.

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