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The City of Pittsburg, KS and Pittsburg Community Schools Work to Bridge the Digital Divide

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The City of Pittsburg, KS and Pittsburg Community Schools Work to Bridge the Digital Divide

The city of Pittsburg, Kansas, and Pittsburg Community Schools recently worked together to create a high-speed broadband network to go into the homes of all their students so they have access to online lessons, streaming video, and data-rich programming.

Funded by money from the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) task force, “DragonNet” supports remote and hybrid learners while setting students up for long-term success.

“DragonNet is creating a level playing field to ensure every one of our students has access to the resources they need to succeed,” said Dr. Brad Hanson, assistant superintendent, Pittsburg School District.

brad hanson usd 250 assistant superintendent

“The pandemic shined a light on the growing digital divide in our country, but it certainly didn’t create the problem. We’ve long been aware of the inequalities across our student body created by a lack of consistent at-home internet access. It’s essential for day-to-day learning as well as the completion of research projects and other homework frequently assigned.”

DragonNet is made possible because of Motorola Solutions’ Nitro™ private LTE solution which runs on the Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum.

Nitro is predictable, secure, and easy to deploy without any complex infrastructure. The antennas have been placed in public spaces, and schools are connected directly into the district’s network via the city’s existing fiber optic cables.

The school district owns and manages the end-user devices (Chromebooks, modems, & routers) that have been given to students to install in their homes. The school is able to control who accesses the network and the content that students consume through existing firewalls and content-filtering tools.

“We’re proud to be among the first cities in the country to deploy a private LTE network like this,” said Jay Byers, deputy city manager, city of Pittsburg.

“We chose this particular network from Motorola Solutions because it doesn’t require complex infrastructure and allows us to take advantage of our existing investment in fiber. The fact that we own the network means all of the data is secure. It’s made an immediate difference for our students and staff and we look forward to extending the benefits to others in the community in the future.”

dragonnet wireless private lte network pittsburg ks

The Nitro network extends secure, reliable, and fast broadband wireless service to seamlessly connect students to the internet in their homes. Learn more about how Nitro works>>