SVVSD, NextLight net $1.3M grant to expand internet service for low-income students

St. Vrain Valley School District in partnership with Longmont’s NextLight internet service were awarded a $1.3 million grant to expand quality internet access for low-income students. 

The public-private partnership will use the grant from the Colorado Department of Education to improve access to free Internet for students and educators across the school district who might not have it due to the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Valerie Dodd, executive director of NextLight. 

NextLight will reactivate a decommissioned mesh network at approximately 68 sites, with speeds of approximately 50Mbps, providing free internet access to many of the 6,200 students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch, according to a news release.