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Free Wi-Fi for some, thanks to Facebook.

A school system in Forest City, North Carolina offers every middle and high school student a free laptop, but unfortunately “nearly half of those students don’t have access to the Internet at home,” according to school administrators.

That’s when Facebook stepped in with the (local) promotional stunt of the decade.

In this town, which happens to play host to a key Facebook data center, the social network launched a pilot program to offer some students free Wi-Fi. It’s not clear how many students will receive free Wi-Fi from Facebook, but the company shares that the initiative will expand if early tests prove successful.

According to a post by Facebook data center manager Keven McCammon, “This program is still very early in its development, and we all have a lot of work to do to build out this network and ensure that it performs well for the students who need it. But 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.”

This program follows a similar announcement from the FCC, which just approved a $2 billion plan to help connect schools and libraries to the Internet.


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