Federated Wireless and City of Tukwila Launch Innovative CBRS Private LTE Network for Student Learning

Funded by the Washington State Department of Commerce,1,200 students without home internet now have remote connectivity to learning tools

TUKWILA, Wash. and ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 28, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Federated Wireless, a leading provider of shared spectrum connectivity, today announced the launch of an innovative CBRS private LTE network in partnership with the City of Tukwila, Washington, that will enable students without home internet across the Tukwila school district to access web-based learning from home using pre-provisioned Chromebooks.

The new private LTE network was funded by a $1.4 million grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce and administered through the Washington State Broadband Office. The project will provide free internet access to support the educational enrichment of up to 1,200 students in the Tukwila School District.

The network was specifically designed to enable students living in areas with poorest connectivity, as identified in the city's broadband heat map.

"Ultimately this is about equity," said Tukwila Mayor Allan Ekberg. “Enabling fair outcomes for every student and equitable access to an academic experience was the driving force behind our approach. Federated Wireless provided the network architecture and spectrum sharing capabilities we needed to get connectivity to students with the necessary broadband throughput required to do their schoolwork.”

Leveraging shared spectrum in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band, Federated Wireless is providing the underlying technology and infrastructure for the private LTE network. Federated Wireless will manage the network for three years. Small cellular sites were deployed at schools, public housing, and city facilities across the Allentown, Tukwila Hill, Tukwila International Boulevard, and Cascade View neighborhoods.

“I am deeply grateful for this incredible partnership and collaborative effort. Our foremost commitment is to ensure that every student can excel in their studies,” expressed Tukwila School District Superintendent Concie Pedroza. “Having access to internet-based learning tools from home is a crucial component of this mission. This network empowers us to bridge the digital divide that has unfortunately disadvantaged some of our students for far too long.”

Students were provided with Chromebooks capable of connecting to school resources via the private network. The network was designed to ensure student safety and to protect the throughput of the network by controlling use at the endpoint, accomplished by pre-provisioning each Chromebook with a SIM card.

“Using a SIM card provides additional security and places control of the Chromebooks in the hands of the school district,” explained City of Tukwila CTO Joel Bush. “This is an instance of numerous teams, including King County IT, Impact Charter Schools, Bellwether Housing, Tukwila School District, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, WSBO, and Federated Wireless, all working together under a short timeline.”

To build the CBRS private LTE network, Federated Wireless engineers first conducted a CBRS spectrum analysis, followed by a site survey and a Radio Frequency (RF) study.

Federated Wireless engineers then produced a wireless network design before installing eight outdoor 4G CBRS radios at five different sites throughout the district.

Federated Wireless configured and commissioned the network and will provide operations-as-a service for all network components with 24/7/365 NOC support.

"Federated Wireless is proud to collaborate with innovative cities like the City of Tukwila to close the digital divide through next-generation connectivity solutions. This use case is a true illustration of the potential of 5G and CBRS to solve for community broadband, last-mile networking needs." said Federated Wireless CEO Iyad Tarazi. "It represents public-private partnership at its best.”

About Federated Wireless:

Federated Wireless is leading the industry in delivering shared spectrum connectivity, enabling carriers, enterprises, and industrial operators to access CBRS spectrum. The company offers spectrum access services to enable easy, reliable, and secure access to shared spectrum for private LTE and 5G networks. For more information, visit www.federatedwireless.com.

Federated Wireless Press Contact
Laura Klebanow