OGDEN, Utah — School districts around Utah handled the need for ways to connect online in different ways when the state shut down in-person classes last spring. Some handed out WiFi hotspots, others equipped school buses with routers to establish a roving data network. Now, many are looking ahead to their long-term needs– and what gaps they can close in the available technology.
In the Ogden School District, school officials plan a unique solution: building their own LTE data network.
Jer Bates, Director of Communications for the Ogden School District, says the coming network will give students the same secure access they would have in a traditional classroom. That includes the same security and content screening in place for school technology.
“So rather than configuring a device to an existing commercial network, like a Verizon or an AT&T, they’ll be configured to our Ogden School District LTE network,” Bates said.
The initiative comes with a steep total price tag of around $500,000. But Bates says the first tower should be operational soon.
“We expect to have our first location operational within 60 days, and then a citywide network could be anywhere between 8 to 12 months,” he added.
By putting up its own towers and configuring its tablets and laptops to work with its LTE data system, Bates says Ogden can ensure students can use their computers for remote learning from anywhere in the city.
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