Nokia delivers private wireless to bridge the digital divide for students’ homes in rural California
Feb 9, 2022
Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced it has completed the first of a two-phase deployment of 4G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology, along with partner AggreGateway, to provide broadband internet connectivity to underserved students in the Dos Palos Oro Loma (DPOL) school district of California.
The district, located in the predominantly rural San Joaquin Valley in California, comprises five campuses and serves a population of 5,000 residents. The Nokia solution will provide secure, reliable, high-performance internet access to the homes of 2400 students using Nokia Private 4.9G/LTE Digital Automation Cloud (NDAC) operating in the CBRS/On-Go GAA spectrum, and customer premises equipment (CPE) including Nokia FastMile 4G Gateways and WiFi Beacons.
The DPOL technology team will operate its new LTE network through the centrally secure Nokia DAC Cloud monitoring application. DPOL will also provision LTE / Wi-Fi hotspots to students to be used with any standard laptop or tablet to access high-speed internet.
The Federal Communications Commission has reported nearly 17 million school children in the USA lack internet access at home, creating a nationwide ‘homework gap’ (Federal Communications Commission). This became even more pronounced during the pandemic as schools closed and distance learning became the new normal.
Paoze Lee, Technology Systems Director of the Dos Palos-Oro Loma school district, said: “As we put a plan in place for distance learning during the pandemic we found we could only provide coverage for approximately 50% of DPOL students via commercial wireless network providers. Working with Nokia and AggreGateway, we are taking the next steps to level the field and ensure every student has the same access to our learning facilities.”
Octavio Navarro, President of AggreGateway, said: “Growing up in a rural small town like Dos Palos-Oro Loma, I experienced the digital divide firsthand. Being able to implement a Nokia private wireless solution for the students has been beyond rewarding. The IT staff from DPOL, AggreGateway, and Nokia worked seamlessly together to achieve this goal. We are excited, proud, and look forward to the continued success.”
Matt Young, Head of Enterprise for North America at Nokia, said: “We are pleased to help close the digital divide in the Dos Palos-Oro Loma school district. For many rural areas of the US it’s not commercially viable to build out networks, and often families on the lowest income suffer. Leveraging our DAC and FastMile FWA technologies we can enable the delivery of much needed internet connectivity to students in the area.”
The project’s first phase was completed in November 2021. Nokia and AggreGateway will complete the second phase in 2022.
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