Olathe Souths New Bi-Directional Amplifier


Dalton Roberts, Reporter

Dalton Roberts

This year the guest wifi is discounted for students, but for years students and staff have had bad cell service in the building. The school board has decided that they will install a bi-directional amplifier (BDA) in order to have adequate cellular coverage available to the campus. The main leader of this project is Brent Kiger The director of the security service

“My project and the wifi being shut off were two different things,” Mr. Kiger said.  

His goal is to have the cellular amplifier up by the end of the calendar year but thinks it could be here in 6 to 8 weeks. Mr. Kiger was in the building a handful of times when he realized that the cell service was bad because he would always get notifications on his phone but when he gets to the building he gets nothing.

“Once I realized how bad the service was, it was a safety concern for me,” Mr. Kiger said. 

The phones need to be able to be used in case of an emergency but the cell service would stop that from being possible. An example would be the shooting at Olathe East if their cell service was like South then it would have been a lot more difficult to handle.

The district requested bids on August 3. There was a mandatory pre-bid walkthrough of the school for the vendors to find the weakest points so they can make plans for the device. Two bidders attended and the District received responsive bids from both. 

“It’s an all-or-nothing device,” Mr. Kiger said. There won’t be an on or off switch, it will be plugged in and won’t be turned off for safety reasons, it will work for all devices no matter what your phone plan is or the company that manufactured it. So all students and staff will have better cellular coverage in the future.

“The BDA was approved by the board, and we are working towards implementation.” Mr. Kiger said. The BDA was approved on September 1 and the district is working on finding an installation date