- The Washington Times - Friday, May 16, 2014

A school in California has apparently given away so many free iPads — funded by bonds — that now neighboring districts are complaining of rampant Internet crashes.

The Coachella Valley Unified School District is being blamed for distributing thousands of the tablets to students who have ultimately, with mass use, drained the Internet bandwidth in other schools, The Desert Sun reported.

Internet usage has skyrocketed in the region by as much as three times, the Riverside County Office of Education reported to the local newspaper. What’s causing the frequent crashes is widespread Internet use coupled by massive malware attacks and infections, school officials said.

Richard D'Souza, executive director of information technology services for the county education office, says it’s not like the schools weren’t warned. Coachella Valley Unified officials simply chose to ignore his warnings, and instead, continued at current levels of use, he said, The Desert Sun reported.

“They did not act like a good neighbor,” he told the paper. “I don’t know how else to explain it.”

The slower connection complaints kicked in at the beginning of the year and grew worse over time. As user consumption grew, officials at schools that shared their connection with the Coachella district started reporting widespread outages in Internet service that would last hours.

The Coachella Valley Unified kicked off its “mobile learning initiative” at the start of this year, distributing an iPad to every student from preschool through high school — and there are more than 18,000 of them. The iPads were paid for by bonds.