Dmr | Lte | 2020-07-31

Out-of-the-Box Private Broadband from Motorola Solutions Supports Distance Learning

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

CBRS-based solution extends secure, reliable and fast LTE into the community to seamlessly connect students to online classes and programming.

As school districts across the country prepare to return students to learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many are looking for broadband solutions that can bridge the digital divide and support new remote and hybrid learning models. Motorola Solutions' (NYSE: MSI) Nitro™ connects students directly to schools’ networks, providing the secure and reliable broadband connectivity needed to support online classes, streaming video and other data-rich programming. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides emergency education funding to students, schools, institutions and states across the country for activities that include the purchase of educational technology, such as Nitro.

Nitro is an affordable, out-of-the-box, private LTE solution that runs on the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum, recently allocated by the Federal Communications Commission to allow enterprises to take advantage of free, coordinated broadband spectrum without having to deploy complex infrastructure. It can be quickly and easily deployed in academic settings and extended into the community with the capacity and range to provide every student with access to online learning programs from the safety of their home. Nitro includes an On-Prem Data Gateway that integrates directly into the district’s network, which gives schools control over who accesses the network and the content that students consume via their existing firewalls and content-filtering tools. Full end-to-end encryption keeps sensitive data safe and secure.

Patterson Unified School District, in Patterson, California, is implementing a fully managed, end-to-end Nitro solution to connect students without internet access in their district for the upcoming school year. The solution was selected because it allows for the transmission of large amounts of data, customized coverage and control over the content that students access and is cost-efficient compared to other options.

“We have a unique opportunity to leverage one-time CARES Act funds that will provide free internet access to our families with the most need for these services,” said Jeffery Menge, assistant superintendent of business services, Patterson Unified School District. “The ability for students to access educational content shouldn’t be an equity issue. It should be available to all.”

“Many of our students are without regular and reliable internet access, which is a non-starter for online learning,” said Nicholas De Pauw, director of technology, Patterson Unified School District. “Nitro is a turnkey solution that will allow us to get up and running with data-rich online instruction, connecting our educators and students when onsite learning isn’t possible. Private broadband from Motorola Solutions offers the flexibility and scalability to support additional applications down the road.”

Nitro is one component of the larger Motorola Solutions Safe Schools ecosystem, which combines voice communications, video security and analytics, software and services to allow schools to detect, analyze, communicate and respond to potential security threats and increase operational efficiency. New additions to the ecosystem will also help schools to manage the impact of COVID-19 and return students to schools safely by supporting social distancing, face mask compliance, elevated skin temperature detection and occupancy counting. Safe Schools solutions can be customized to meet a school or district’s unique needs and span the end-to-end workflow for everyday school operations and emergencies.