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District, Partners Innovate to Expand Internet Access

Cutting-edge outdoor network will remove some inequities for students and families

mother and daughter at laptop

Campbell Union School District, Ruckus Wireless and Santa Clara County Office of Education are partnering to implement a cutting-edge outdoor network in the neighborhood immediately adjacent to Rosemary Elementary School. 

“This neighborhood pilot project will help to bridge the digital divide by providing students access to both District-issued Chromebooks and the internet,” said Trevor Walker, Director of Technology Services for the school district. 

The network, available Fall 2020, will use the recently opened Citizens Broadcast Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum, allowing for a stronger signal strength in the neighborhood and nearby complexes when compared to traditional outdoor wifi networks. 

“This network is one of only a few to activate in this area,” Walker said, adding that it was just a few months ago that the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) authorized the CBRS band—previously used only for military networks—for full commercial wireless service use.

“The effects of the pandemic meant our students, teachers, and families needed internet connectivity more than ever. We want to be prepared as we anticipate needing to continue in some form of distance learning when the new school year starts,” said District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez. “Access to technology and reliable, affordable internet is necessary for lifelong success. This network will help us address some of the inequities that exist so our students can succeed academically and our families can have much-needed access to the supports available to them online.”