Deploying Connectivity to Student Homes

Providing Home Internet Access to Students

Jesse Rothschild Tech Talk


Distance Learning Without Broadband

Providing Home Internet Access to Students

USAT   |   Visual Use Case

Student Connectivity | Home Internet Access

Meet Rochelle

Rochelle is an IT Director for a sizable school district. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, she is working to implement new distance learning programs. It falls to her to ensure students across the district can connect to the educational content they need.

Current Challenge


According to the Associated Press, 18% of US students do not have access to broadband internet and 17% do not have access to computers at home. And while some homes have broadband connectivity, data rates may have significantly slowed due to heavy usage by people working from home. Rochelle’s school district recently obtained laptops for all students who didn’t have one, but she needs to get everyone connected online and learning.

Additional Obstacles


Her colleague Thomas, from another district, recommended that Rochelle explore school bus WiFi as a solution to her connectivity challenges. She assembled a team to map out the locations of students in her district who reported they were without internet access. While many were located in close proximity to one another, she found outliers. Students that were outside the most populated areas - ones that were normally bused in from a great distance away. So while WiFi-enabled buses addressed connecting over 95% of the student body, a large number of students still wouldn't see the benefits of her SmartBus initiative.  She needed a second solution.

Recommended Solution


USAT, a resale partner of Sierra Wireless, helped equip her school buses with WiFi.  She decided to reach out to them again to see what solution they could offer for those students located around the fringes of her district. USAT offered up the the AirLink® ES450 LTE router is an out-of-the-box solution. Rochelle could order routers for each student, and have them shipped to their homes, allowing them to instantly connect to the internet and their learning content.

Using AirLink® Management Service (ALMS) from Sierra Wireless, Rochelle can remotely configure, deploy and monitor all the ES450 devices being used by students, and deliver security and functional updates with a single command. And with automatic, alerts let her know what devices are online, and when those devices go off-line.

The Results


With the routers delivered and running, and the school buses deployed on their rounds, she was able to ensure all students gained secure access to the distance learning materials they needed. Rochelle, and her IT team, are resting easier knowing she can direct students to only approved websites while maintaining secure connections to the schools network.

Equipping Student Homes with Internet Access Equipping Student Homes with Internet Access

The MSRP of an ES450 is $499, but for a limited time, includes a $100 instant rebate.

Contact us today about volume discounts.

Contact USAT

If your school needs a solution quickly, USAT has the equipment in stock and can provide installation services where applicable. Our installation teams are available across Alabama, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and some regions of Texas and Colorado.

USAT offers communications solutions for both in-home  and  WiFi-enabled school bus connectivity applications. USAT is a premiere resale partner of Sierra Wireless - a top-tier manufacturer of cellular routers and gateways.

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