Prince George’s Co. schools’ wireless hot spots subject of recall

Virtually all the wireless hot spots that the Prince George’s County, Maryland, public schools system issued so students could carry on with distance learning are part of a nationwide recall because of a fire risk.

The school system said in a statement Monday that Verizon has issued a recall for 2.5 million Ellipsis Jetpack hot spots, and that brand constitutes almost all of the hot spots issued by the school system.

Families with one of the hot spots will be contacted by the school system with details on how to return the hot spots and get new ones.

A county spokeswoman said the school system has 5,000 hot spots currently in circulation.

“We estimate that these hotspots are the sole means for internet access in between 2,500 – 3,000 homes,” the spokeswoman wrote in an email. “Some households have access to the internet through the Comcast Essentials program.”

In the meantime, they had advice for families who have one of the hot spots:

  • Turn it on if it’s turned off, so that it can be automatically updated.
  • Once it’s updated (you’ll know because the identifying number scrolling across the screen), leave it on when it’s plugged in.
  • And when it’s not in use, turn it off and unplug it.

If you have any questions, email the school system at

The school system said it’s working with Verizon to issue replacement devices but doesn’t yet have an estimated delivery date.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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