How K-12 Schools & Communities Benefit from Investing in Private 5G

On the other side of the Covid-induced disarray that brought on K-12 learning challenges for children around the world, new visions about the future of digital learning would make thought leaders like Alvin Toffler smile.

In this brave new world, interactive, collaborative, and immersive digital education will be the norm. It will replace enhance traditional classroom lectures with engaging content, gamified with rich visuals, to keep students engaged. Furthermore, students will learn collaborative problem-solving skills as they participate in AR/VR-based projects online with their peers.

The reality is a far cry from the promised new world of education. Instead, the air is thick with laments about the loss of learning for students isolated for a long time and prone to distraction with remote digital education.

While the future is here now, digital transformation in K-12 is unevenly spread across student populations. The gaps are grim, with a sizable proportion of students without broadband connections at home to complete their homework. The value of digital education rises directly with the proportion of the community participating. Their sharing, contributions, interactions, and collaboration add to the cumulative community benefit.

Current last-mile connectivity options for K-12 education are limited to WiFi or wired connections purchased by individual families. Their coverage is uneven with the disparities affected by the investments public carriers commit to the local communities. The quality of the WiFi connections varies depending on how much individual households pay for bandwidth. School districts can choose to ease these disparities with investments in Private 5G mobile networks to provide even coverage and quality of service for every household, in their perimeter, at low cost. Community investments evenly spread the future with private 5G mobile networks targeted at local regions.

We discuss below the hierarchy of digital divides and how private 5G networks are a solution to close the gap, enabling teachers to focus their attention on individual students while the engrossing content will deliver routine classroom lessons.

Gap #1 Eliminating the Homework Gap

One-on-one attention from teachers in physical classrooms can be invaluable, especially for those students who do not receive help completing their homework from their parents at home. For them, the transition to digital has been a grinding struggle to walk or bike to the nearest library or community center for a connection to the Internet. Their loss is also a loss for the community, which misses their participation.

According to Pew Research, almost one-in-five parents with homebound schoolchildren say that they have to use public WiFi to finish their schoolwork because there is not a reliable Internet connection at home. Additionally, about a third complete their homework with a cell phone connection.

The gap is more pronounced among students in lower-income households. About 43 percent of students in low-income families need to use a cell phone to complete schoolwork, and 40 percent need a public WiFi connection. Furthermore, 37 percent of rural Americans have no broadband Internet service at home, trailing urban residents by 12 points and suburban residents by 16 points.

Community investments in CBRS private networks provide access to connectivity for all its members, regardless of their socio-economic status. These networks have a wide enough coverage area, as much as a six mile radius, with 100 Mbps using just one base station to provide universal access to an entire community. In addition, individual households pay only a modest monthly rent charge for a device.

Gap #2: Lower Cost of Universal Access 

Lively online social conversations among classmates can compensate for the loss of the traditional classroom. But unfortunately, cheap commercial Internet that is not secure breaks these conversations.

There are an estimated nine million K-12 students who cannot afford Internet access, according to a report by the Boston Consulting Group. Instead, they make do with inconvenient options such as public open WiFi networks, which often have high background noise levels and a limited time use.

Community investments in private networks remove the burden of Internet access on individuals and make it universally available. Kajeet can custom design a private 5G network for traffic levels in the community, so its benefits are proportionate to its investment. Using an unlicensed spectrum where feasible or the EBS spectrum allocated for underserved communities at no cost, Kajeet makes universal access possible at a much lower cost for every individual in the community.

Gap #3: Improving the Quality of the Experience  

Imagine a digital lesson on an online whiteboard with a gamified example of a mathematics lecture. Teachers use styluses to dynamically insert multi-media content and explain concepts in creative ways to invite student participation. Unfortunately, a low-bandwidth connection mars the service quality, often losing students’ attention.

According to the 2021 Connect K-12 Report, 27.6 million students attend schools that still lack adequate bandwidth, defined as a modest 1 Mbps by the FCC. Schools require this level of connectivity to support immersive digital learning in every classroom daily.

Private 5G network solutions, such as those delivered by Kajeet, use high bandwidth 4G/5G technologies to provide a consistent user experience for all individuals. Furthermore, Kajeet monitors the networks and uses analytics to troubleshoot to ensure a consistent quality of service.

Gap #4: High-Quality Virtual Learning Experience to Engage Students

Virtual instruction allows for greater flexibility to initiate new learning experiences – such as outdoor lessons, or those given from museums, labs, or art galleries. High-quality learning materials such as the Google Education Suite are widely available today.

For a high-quality virtual experience, reliable Internet is a necessity. Private networks leverage a dedicated network, making the Internet significantly more dependable and therefore opening the way for virtual learning.

Gap #5: Keeping Online Learning Safe   

Cyber villains can exploit children who are unsupervised online, potentially inflicting lasting mental health damage. Unfortunately, unlike in traditional classrooms, teachers are not present to discern psychological changes.

All schools are required to comply with the Children’s Internet Protection Act. They have the option to use analytics for content filtering software to detect malicious content. However, liability costs prevent some schools from using them, especially after hours when the public authorities may not respond to alerts. Others partner with emergency authorities to intervene outside of regular hours.

Kajeet’s core competence is content filtering and policy management software. It is integral to the private network services it provides. In recent years, it has added analytics software as part of its managed services to monitor the network. For example, it can monitor not only the state of mental health of students but also follow up and track whether they get help in time, essential for online learning.

Gap #6: Ease of Use for Digital Education

It sounds paradoxical that some school districts have affordable connectivity but do not utilize digital education. However, they are often forced to turn down opportunities to provide better learning options when customizing available networks for use cases of individual schools is challenging—for example, special needs students in underprivileged locations.

Maintaining private networks is either not a skill generally available to schools, or they do not want to have to manage a second access point for private networks in addition to WiFi connectivity.

Kajeet makes it easy to use private networks with Network-as-a-Service. It monitors the network and troubleshoots whenever needed to keep it functioning. The ease of use of the network makes it easier to adopt.


Digital education has a largely untapped potential to provide unforeseen experiences for children. The quality of experience that Private 5G networks provides make digital learning fun and engaging. Private 5G networks have the flexibility to adapt to the most pressing need of individual communities, whether for low cost, the geographical span of coverage, or the reliability of the service. Kajeet contributes unique attributes of content filtering, ease of use, and round-the-clock monitoring for closing the digital divide. Learn more about our Private 5G solutions and connect with us:

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