As more than 9 million students still lack access to reliable home broadband connectivity, school districts and municipalities are seeking solutions that will get all their students connected as they continue with their digital learning efforts.
Many school districts are resorting to the use of Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) connectivity in building private networks which would provide high-speed home internet services straight to the homes of students and staff. CBRS networks operate through the use of the 3.5 GHZ spectrum mid-band for shared public and private use. These private networks provide LTE and 5G connectivity, which guarantees all students within range seamless access to live video lectures, classroom applications, online assignments, etc…
Private LTE networks complement both public cellular and existing Wi-Fi and even provide coverage to students with no existing connection. Thus reaching out to homes in rural areas.
The use of shared spectrum through a private network is an ideal solution for schools experiencing difficulties facilitating their remote learning experience during the COVID-19 crisis. The connection speeds are analogous to Wi-Fi, all while being a fraction of the cost of traditional deployments. Additionally, there are federal funds in place that can potentially pay for this kind of educational technology.
Another major benefit of shared spectrum is that they better ensure network safety. These networks are controlled directly by the schools themselves and can ensure that the network remains private, permitting access only to authorized users. All data remains on-premise, off the internet, and SIM-secure.
Beyond the surface of just utilizing these private networks just for distance learning, they can also serve extremely useful additional purposes such as campus transportation tracking, security enhancement, digital record keeping, and extended campus wireless coverage ( cellular enhancement ).