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Kokomo school buses to get Wi-Fi

– Students in a north-central Indiana school district soon will be able to do homework on the bus, even if it requires online research.

Kokomo-Center Schools plans to equip all 65 of its school buses with wireless Internet access by the end of the school year. The plan is part of nearly $200,000 in transportation upgrades that also include a GPS tracking system for each bus.

Installation will cost $125,000, and most of the $5,000 annual service fee is covered by a federal grant, district spokesman Dave Barnes said Wednesday.

District operations director Mike Wade said Wi-Fi will especially help students in extracurricular activities like sports and marching band, giving them access to the Internet as they travel to and from competitive events.

“I remember as a coach, driving 2 1/2 hours to Richmond. If I could have done my work, that would have been great,” Wade said.

Access will be limited by the district’s network, which blocks social networking and other sites that may be unrelated to school, Barnes said.