Internet access for underserved students and universities now available in US via CBRS and MultiTech

Multi-Tech Systems, Inc., a global supplier of Industrial IoT communication devices and services, has announced a special offer to enables teachers, students and families to optimise pandemic-related US Federal grant money to secure a remote connection for entire student populations – including the 40% without broadband internet access at home.

Targeted at systems integrators and IT services organisations working with educational communities, the solution leverages the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and traditional public cellular networks, where available, to seamlessly connect Chromebooks, laptops and Wi-Fi routers to Private LTE OnGo networks in order to extend Internet service to students in their homes. In addition, this solution helps to contain costs and protect students and faculty from unwanted, unsavory content and or potential security and privacy issues.

MultiTech’s OnGo devices, the first of their kind, are now discounted for the educational community to speed adoption and help ensure every student can connect to virtual learning during the pandemic and beyond. They connect a wide range of educational assets to dedicated private LTE OnGo networks and traditional cellular networks, where available.

“Our radio manufacturer recommended that we look at the MultiTech CBRS receivers. With only a handful of options available to us we were excited to have a trusted vendor building them,” said Jason Eyre, technology department supervisor at Murray City School District near Salt Lake City. “We like the flexibility and durability of the Ethernet product. They make the only USB receiver we have seen so far and we were impressed that it has support for Chrome OS. We give a Chromebook to every student and this will be a great option to make it easier for our younger students to get online quickly and easily.”

“During these uncertain times, we have looked at how we can make a difference and provide some of our knowhow and more than 50 years of experience connecting assets to fixed and wireless networks to support the educational community. We understand their pain points and are eager to help,” said Stefan Lindvall, CEO of MultiTech. “New private networks, like OnGo have the potential to transform the landscape offering cost effective, secure Broadband Internet connectivity for rural and unconnected populations.

MultiTech’s public cellular and Private LTE/CBRS devices offer a complete solution for distant learning. We’ve dedicated a number of experienced staff members to reach out and collaborate with educational communities to make these connections happen as quickly as possible.”

CBRS and Private LTE

CBRS is 150 MHz of spectrum – ranging from 3550 – 3700 MHz – in the 3.5 GHz band. Used sparingly by the U.S government and other entities, this band was identified by the FCC as additional spectrum for shared wireless private broadband. OnGo, the name of the wireless services within the CBRS band, enables easy deployment of Private LTE networks ideal for distance learning, not only for its cost efficiency and security, but to enables Internet connectivity for rural and underserved locations where neither public cellular nor Wi-Fi networks exist.

“By serving as a complement to existing mobility services, OnGo has the power to make a difference in this time of distance and remote learning. As OnGo private networks can be more cost-effective compared to traditional LTE offerings, it is a viable investment for schools to help contend the impact of COVID-19, including rural and underserved communities,” said Alan Ewing, Executive Director of the CBRS Alliance. “MultiTech’s OnGo offerings will provide children or school districts with the connectivity they need to get access to vital online learning platforms for as long as they need, delivering innovative, reliable, and secure solutions that help the industry tackle today’s unprecedented challenges.”

Distance Learning

For 2020, MultiTech has partnered with select distributors to offer special pricing to the education community to enable:

  • Chromebook and notebook connectivity:
    Many school systems deploy Chromebooks or Windows Notebooks to their students, but without Internet access, their usefulness is severely limited. Adding a MultiConnect microCell CBRS modem to the USB port solves the issue instantly by providing plug-and-play access to the school systems OnGo network. These devices are ruggedised to withstand even the most playful students.
  • Broadband access + in-home Wi-Fi
    For multi-student households, the MultiConnect eCell CBRS to Ethernet bridge pairs easily with your choice of Wi-Fi hot spots with a simple Ethernet cable to make it easy to attach a large number of devices to the Internet over a CBRS network at home or anywhere there is OnGo coverage. The OnGo network backhaul lets the school system control Internet traffic for student safety and to avoid competition with other local service providers.

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