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Insight Community Wireless Broadband Solution Helps Cities, Schools Bridge Digital Divide

Bespoke technology supports teleworking and remote learning in rural and historically underserved communities; lays groundwork for smart cities

Insight Enterprises, the global integrator of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions for organizations of all sizes, announced its Community Wireless Broadband solution which, in public-private partnerships with communities, helps bring secure Internet connectivity to bridge the digital divide in rural and historically underserved counties, cities and schools.

The Community Wireless Broadband solution is provided through Insight Public Sector, Insight’s division serving the needs of federal, state, local and education government agencies. It creates a secure broadband Internet network that is privately owned by a municipality and can be accessed by anyone with the provided Wi-Fi device who lives within the coverage area. The hotspot-like device delivers a private, secure wireless connection to individuals’ homes, helping communities nationwide establish the critical infrastructure needed to make broadband Internet accessible anywhere.

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“When COVID-19 sent students and educators home earlier last year, many school districts found that students didn’t have suitable Internet connectivity in their homes to support remote learning. Through our Community Wireless Broadband solution, we’re helping cities and school districts securely and reliably deliver the education promised to those students. Our solution also provides essential broadband access for people in a telework situation who may be lacking the connection they need to work from home,” said Brian Louderback, regional director of State, Local and Education for Insight Public Sector.

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With government relief programs like the CARES Act making critical sources of funding available to help communities connect to broadband Internet, Insight Public Sector is partnering directly with municipalities to implement Community Wireless Broadband. Insight’s Cloud + Data Center Transformation team conducts the end-to-end management of a project, from analysis and design to coordinating with the service and technology providers within its deep partner network to build the broadband infrastructure and deliver the right Wi-Fi devices to a community. Insight then provides the long-term managed services to enable the Internet access and the help-desk support end users need without the risks of a public Wi-Fi network.

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Insight Public Sector is working with the City of Tucson — where more than 32,000 of the city’s roughly 212,000 households lack reliable Internet access — to pilot this solution. Given high poverty levels, infrastructure limitations, and the effects of the pandemic, thousands of students and teleworkers in Tucson face the ongoing challenges of unreliable access to work and school. By leveraging CARES Act funding for a city Wi-Fi expansion plan, Tucson partnered with Insight Public Sector to implement a Community Wireless Program to bring the infrastructure needed to make essential broadband Internet access available to the city’s population most impacted by the digital divide.

Beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, this solution lays an important foundation for smart cities. In a smart city, everything hinges on connecting different sensors and IT assets that collect data to a private and secure broadband infrastructure. Insight’s Community Wireless Broadband solution provides this infrastructure, an essential step in seamlessly integrating smart devices for public safety, traffic management and other vital city services into the grid in the future.

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