The Broadband Alliance has chosen Airpath Wireless, Inc. as a strategic partner and key stakeholder in the nation's first, coast-to-coast, inter-campus Wi-Fi network, linking schools and universities, to build-out the Education First Network(TM).
Students and educators of K-12 and higher education campuses with existing Wi-Fi access will be able to seamlessly log into any other member campus' educational wireless network via the Education First Network(TM). This will allow the educational community to extend their learning experience by leveraging wireless networks of other schools and universities across the country.
The Education First Network(TM) is the first program of its kind and is designed to create value to both university campuses and K-12 educational institutions as well as add value to their existing Wi-Fi initiatives and investments. To assist schools that are not 'unwired', corporate sponsors are being signed-up to offset implementation costs.
Airpath will provide the network Interconnect solution through their robust roaming platform, InterRoam(TM). Leveraging the InterRoam(TM) solution for authentication, the Education First Network(TM) users achieve wireless connectivity and secured roaming at any educational institution while on the Education First Network(TM). Airpath's InterRoam(TM) is a hosted, transaction based clearing, settlement and rating platform that allows complete control over Wi-Fi roaming and will be the enabling solution used for the Education First Network(TM).
"As schools and universities join the Education First Network, every member campus will become accessible to students, staff, and faculty via this network. This single interconnect will allow the institution's IT department to dedicate scarce resources just once, effectively growing the access available to their students and faculty without having to dedicate additional IT resources and without changing the existing deployed architecture," said Todd Myers, CEO and Founder of Airpath.
Bluesocket, the leader in open wireless security and management solutions, is joining the Education First Network(TM) as a technology partner with a long history serving the education community. As the leader in wireless solutions for the education market, Bluesocket has worked with hundreds of schools in understanding their unique requirements, and in delivering WLAN solutions that provide the necessary functionality, simplicity, and trust to ensure an enriched learning environment.
"Some of the most mobile and connected people in our society can be found in the education community. Today's educators and students demand an always-connected, everywhere wireless campus environment," said Dave Danielson, VP of marketing for Bluesocket. "As a leader in wireless security and management, we are extremely pleased to be part of this initiative and to help bring our education customers the power of being linked together. This will allow them to provide new services that give their students more educational value while keeping operational costs low," Danielson added.
As an educational institution joins the Education First Network(TM), the institution will receive roaming revenue from commercial carriers. Funds will be dispersed through the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) and the Broadband Alliance directly back to the institution.
The NJPA, a national educational cooperative purchasing alliance, will provide exclusive contract support to the Education First Network(TM) and manage all fiscal responsibilities of the Education First Network(TM) program as a strategic partner. The Broadband Alliance's role will include marketing, promotion and managing business development for the Education First Network(TM).
"The power and flexibility of the Education First Network(TM) allows the capability to expand the overall wireless Internet footprint across the world and reward educational institutions that are investing in this emerging communication system," said Stuart Dankers, CEO and Chairman of the Broadband Alliance.
For institutions that already have a wireless infrastructure in place and wish to reap the benefits of the Education First Network(TM), enrollment for these services will be made available through the Broadband Alliance (www.bballiance.net) and the NJPA procurement procedures (www.njpacoop.org). The Education First Network(TM) will be the largest hot spot network in the world, leveraging all educational wireless networks into a single powerful virtual network.
"The emergence of wireless technologies and various solutions to extend the capability of the wired world to a mobile secured environment in and out of the classroom is rapidly becoming the norm in providing education programs to students of all ages," said Jo Boettcher, COO of the Broadband Alliance. "As a former educator and school administrator I believe the Education First Network will be a great benefit to the educational community, and as the commercial use of this new technology expands, it will provide a revenue stream back to educational institutions which will benefit everyone involved," she added.