Nokia 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 Lomo (DPOL) school district of California.

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 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 2,400 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 Wi-Fi beacons.

Paoze Lee, technology systems director of the DPOL school district, said, “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.”

The Federal Communications Commission has reported nearly 17 million school children in the USA lack internet access at home, creating a nationwide ‘homework gap’. This became even more pronounced during the pandemic as schools closed and distance learning became the new normal.

Commenting on the implementation, 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.”

Nokia and AggreGateway will complete the second phase in 2022.