Overcoming objections to connecting to school, city networks

I’m looking for examples where sensors have been linked into existing WIFI networks, in schools and/or municipal buildings, and to show that no harm has happened to corrupt the network.

In Peabody, a city north of Boston,Mass, a group has gotten a grant to place several sensors in environmental justice communities (areas where the population is likely to be burdened by pollution.)

Although we had planned to place the sensors at city buildings or in schools, the IT departments have objected.

Examples and suggestions welcome!

Jerry, it is most common for a school to create an SSID specifically for the sensors. This is also our recommended path for anyone worried about security. IOT devices in general can or should use a separate SSID.

1 Like

Adrian, thanks for this advice. I have passed it on to our team and hope that will resolve the impasse.


The same thing happened to me in the metro DC region. My school district did not approve the use of their wifi over security issues. I worked around it though. I partnered with the local Sierra Club to find hosts who lived one mile or less from our participating schools. The sensors are still hosted and you can see them on the Purple Air map. One school in my project (Our Air, Your Future: Creating Clean Air Advocates) was a charter school, and it had no issues connecting the PM sensor to their wifi. Charter schools are generally smaller and more flexible. It’s the big public schools who have more security concerns as they are trying to protect student data–which justifiably should be kept private. Good luck.

1 Like


Thank you for sharing your experience. I will share with our team working on this and with the city health department.

We’re exploring that with school districts in Colorado right now, and the agreement we reached was for them to open an IoT SSID at specific router points within specific schools. That reduces the security liability. We’ll update if there are any issues.

1 Like