|Company||Oku Solutions LLC|
|Company Position||Chief Executive Officer|
|City, State||Aptos, CA|
|Availability of Connectivity via WiFi|
|During the COVID-19 pandemic some local governments and companies have made progress through publishing online and through physical postings to map WiFi Hotspots.|
|COWs COLTs Aerostats for Emergency Distance Learning and Telemedicine Broadband Connectivity in Rural Areas|
|This white paper describes COWs (Cell-on-Wheels), COLTs (Cell-on-Light Trucks), and Aerostats (CCAs) used to provide cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity in areas without 4G. They are used to provide emergency communications during catastrophic events such as fighting forest fires in rural areas, and in aftermath of earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods. In California there have been a series of state-level broadband meetings focused on the need to provide an immediate response to fill the distance learning and telemedicine broadband access gaps to unserved rural households sheltering in place during the COVID-19 crisis. Some telecommunications providers and public libraries are offering free Wi-Fi hotspots with 4G service to take home; however, 4G hotspots only work in areas with cellular broadband service.|
|City of Schenectady, NY: Enhanced City Services|
|As part of Schenectady’s Lower Union Street reconstruction Project that started in late 2015, Smart Lights have recently been installed that allow the control of lighting and other sensors to monitor devices as well as provide a small scale Public Wi-Fi deployment. This deployment, activated on June 20th 2017 as Schenectady’s contribution to World Wi-Fi Day 41 , gives residents, and visitors within a 5-block area of State Street (from Broadway to Lafayette) access to the internet and is helping to identify value for further Wi-Fi deployment. 42 Wi-Fi access points also allow the city to control smart lighting and other IoT sensors that help in evaluating the benefits of various accessories. This project is in coordination with additional Wi-Fi access in front of City Hall on Jay Street that is also available for residents and visitors to the city.|
|Connecting Rural School Children for Distance Learning|
|As the SARS-COV-2 virus spreads, and communities work to minimize COVID-19 cases, schools are closing and we expect all school physical facilities will remain closed for some period of time during this emergency. This will affect more than 76 million students across the US.
Many closing schools are shifting to online learning, but this transition won’t be easy. Students need three things to engage in successful distance learning; a suitable computing device, access to high-speed internet, and digital literacy.
|GCTC Connectivity Covid-19 Resources|
|The Covid-19 crisis has increased the need for students to distance learn and workers to telework; however, the digital divide remains as an unbridged connectivity and device gap for many. Devices such as mobile devices, notebook computers must be in place or issued that can connect wirelessly to Wi-Fi for distance learning and teleworking. Some local governments and companies have made progress through publishing online and through physical postings to map these sites. Other local governments may be further ahead in advanced connectivity having deployed wireless connectivity delivery systems that can easily scale to more locations such as parked vehicles with Wi-Fi equipment.|
|Guidance and Resources for Connectivity|
|This page is the list of available guidances and resources for connectivity during pandemic.|
|Helping low-cost or free internet connectivity|
|Programs and organizations helping to identify and provide low-cost or free broadband connectivity.|
|Open Wi-Fi Maps and Lists (by US state)|
|States are compiling lists of open Wi-Fi access points for residents who do not have home broadband access. While accessing these sites may be in violation of social distancing and shelter-in-place directives, some people may choose to use this option.
Open Wi-Fi SSIDs are potentially a security risk to users. Use of VPNs and secure website is highly recommended.
|Santa Clara County Office of Education CBRS Networks|
|Santa Clara County Office of Education and Joint Venture Silicon Valley are cooperating with industry leaders to deploy CBRS broadband networks for addressing distance learning and homework gap challenges.|
|Wireless Networks for Rural Distance Learning Telemedicine and Digital Inclusion|
|Most U.S. states have ordered residents to shelter-in-place in response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. This presents significant challenges for residents in areas with poor or no broadband service, preventing them from using the internet to access distance learning resources, contact health care providers while remaining sheltered, accessing online shopping, and other online activities that most people take for granted.
Residents need three things to overcome digital inclusion gaps: a suitable computing device, high-speed internet, and digital literacy. People with Access & Functional Needs (AFNs) cannot easily overcome the digital inclusion challenge without assistance from local governments, telecommunication providers, and corporate partners. Some AFN communities are attempting to creatively solve the connectivity challenge by retrofitting school buses and “Bookmobiles” with Wi-Fi equipment and then parking them in neighborhoods with AFN residents. In some cases, schools and public libraries are petitioning the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to waive some E-rate rules so they can open up their networks to the surrounding community. There are some significant downsides to this approach:
An alternative that can provide broadband service to AFN residents in areas that are unserved or underserved by existing telecommunication networks is to enhance the 4G LTE infrastructure to provide additional coverage – specifically indoor coverage – to a broader range of locations, by building temporary wireless sites near the areas of need. Once the sites are in place, government or community groups can provide AFN residents with a hotspot, or an inexpensive smartphone to be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot. There are various configurations possible to provide broadband service to the largest number of AFN residents while keeping costs low, utilizing available equipment, and operating within legal and regulatory constraints:
This concept paper Wireless Networks for Distance Learning details each of these configurations, examines the pros and cons of each method, and explores funding options.
|This chapter section will feature several real-world case studies provided by the Public Wi-Fi SuperCluster Leadership team. Cities have achieved economic development, digital inclusion, emergency communications, rural connectivity, tourist attractions, and much more.|
|Case Study Summary Findings & Discussion|
|During the development of this Blueprint, the authorship team conducted a series of case study
interviews of local government agencies in the United States and Canada known to have deployed IoT networks. The team spoke with the cities of San Diego; San Leandro, CA; Calgary, AB Canada; and the County of San Mateo, CA. Below is a summary of the key findings from these case studies.
|Considerations for Deploying Municipal IoT|
|Perhaps the most fundamental decision government agencies will make regarding IoT networks
is how the IoT network will be built and what the business model and ownership structure will be. The current consensus is that there will likely be two primary paths for IoT network deployments, with a third, less ubiquitous option serving as a “catch-all” classification for anything that does not squarely fit within the first two.
|Three primary business models clearly emerge for today’s Public Wi-Fi projects.|
|History of Public WiFi|
|The dreams and aspirations of a municipal Wi-Fi system aren’t new: provide free, high-speed internet to your community, close the digital divide, shrink the homework gap, and give consumers a free, public option for internet service. It’s not hard to see why the concept has remained so popular over the years.|
|Impacts to Municipal Governments of IoT Networks|
|The Municipal IoT will probably have numerous impacts to state and local government agencies and their operations. In a sense, this is the heart of this Blueprint paper, and the essential reason for its existence. IoT networks have the potential to improve greatly the way we deliver services, reduce operating costs, improve the economy and commerce, promote better environmental stewardship, and provide opportunities for digital equity and access – leading to developments in tourism, breakthroughs in transportation and transit, and so much more. While this list of potential use cases is by no means exhaustive, it provides an introduction for government leaders as to what they should start looking for when it comes to the potential impacts of IoT networks.|
|Internet of Things|
|The scope of this Blueprint will be on the IoT networks themselves – the physical and logical layers, not necessarily the software applications and data generated therefrom.|
|Introduction to Public WI-FI Use Cases|
|Public Wi-Fi has a large number of use cases. This section seeks to provide guidance and information related to the most prominent types and will provide a general overview of the most frequently cited use cases for implementing Public Wi-Fi.|
|Municipalities should be prepared to investigate legal issues that could impact their Public Wi-Fi project.
This document is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. Issues from our perspective will be classified below in terms of 1) the Regulatory Landscape and 2) Organizational Responsibilities.
|Marketing & Outreach|
|Municipalities tend to have standard channels of communicating news and project information to their constituents. Most often this includes public announcements, meetings, and eventually a press release.|
|Practical Guide: Deploying an IoT Network|
|Today’s IoT market is already crowded; there is a confusing multitude of IoT connectivity options.
However, there are some important ways to distinguish them.
|Practical Guide: IoT Cybersecurity & Privacy|
|With the advent of IoT devices and their rapid and wide adoption in Smart Cities, municipalities face an urgent necessity to ensure the IoT-related ecosystems are trustworthy by design. New regulations will no doubt be enacted by the federal and local regulatory bodies in due time, but municipalities face an urgent need for practical guidance for built-in security and privacy protection.|
|The following sections provide a blueprint for the procurement process for Public Wi-Fi networks.|
|While Public Wi-Fi deployments differ in purpose, reason, and size from agency to agency, the need for solid project management is consistent across the board. The collective ideas in this section provide a modular project management approach by breaking groups of task areas into milestone clusters.|
|A variety of technology decisions need to be made to effectively deliver good Public-Wi-Fi service, while supporting the current and future applications that cities and towns are seeking to deliver.|
|The Current State of Municipal IoT Deployments|
|The authors of this Blueprint conducted an online survey of municipal government officials in January 2019 with the goal of finding out information regarding the current state of the municipal IoT deployments. (The survey was conducted online and received 37 responses from verified government officials with a breakdown as follows: 73% City/Town; 13.5% Special District; 10.8% County; 2.7% State)|
|The purpose of this blueprint is to provide readers with a practical “how-to” guide for deploying a Public Wi-Fi system within their jurisdiction or agency.|
|A Blueprint for Public Wi-Fi Networks|
|The goals of the Global City Teams Challenge program are to bring together thought leaders and experts on a wide variety of topics relating to modern “Smart City” technologies and to have them share their knowledge and create best practices to assist those who are coming after them. The authors and contributors of this blueprint have designed, built, and managed Public Wi-Fi systems all over the United States and it is this spirit of collaboration and knowledge sharing that drives this effort forward.|