CBRS Alliance Members Give Back in Wake of COVID-19

Last month, the CBRS Alliance launched  OnGo Together, a program with the goal of supporting those most in need and keeping us all connected at a time we can’t physically be together. We asked our nearly 160 member companies to volunteer their equipment, network services and expertise to help get new wireless networks up and running. And while the program is just getting started, our members already began giving back on their own. From helping expedite the manufacturing of ventilators to providing the connectivity necessary for hospitals to perform at maximum capacity — here are just a few examples on how CBRS Alliance members are actively striving to be a part of the solution to combat COVID-19:

    • CommScope: In China, Europe and the U.S., CommScope donated product and expedited delivery of in-building wireless systems as new hospitals were built to support COVID-19 patients. In conjunction with the Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (ITDRC), CommScope donated outdoor wireless access points and switches, along with one-year support, and financially assisted with pop-up centers for emergency healthcare delivery and homework hot spots. Additionally, CommScope is working with school districts, partners and service providers to extend coverage outdoors and equip school buses with outdoor access points with LTE backhaul, and PoE switching. The buses can then be parked in strategic locations to enable students to connect to the internet to complete schoolwork. This proof-of-concept has already been implemented in Indiana and Pennsylvania.

 

    • RF Connect: To meet special needs for temporary connectivity to support doctors and nursing staff who are delivering emergency patient care during the COVID-19 response, Druid Software is collaborating with its partner, RF Connect, alongside Accu-Tech and CommScope to rapidly deploy OnGo data networks by contributing integration services, LAN infrastructure, OnGo Access Points and cellular core software.

 

    • BLiNQ Networks: Along with Frontier Communications BliNQ has been working hard to help support communities during this very difficult time by connecting home workers in parts of the US where there is no broadband. In partnership with Druid Software, using their cellular core platform they are enabling this rapid deployment of dedicated OnGo 4G data to quickly connect homes. In Pennsylvania in conjunction with partners Connx Technologies, BLiNQ are delivering OnGo Broadband to unconnected homes for employees of regional hospitals. In Massachusetts the town of Royalston has engaged BLiNQ Networks to help them rapidly roll out OnGo broadband for the unconnected homes in the area.

 

    • Ericsson: In the US, Ericsson has been working closely with our operator customers to augment capacity and bring connectivity to medical centers and government offices to meet critical needs. Ericsson field crews are considered essential workers and have been building networks and supporting communication service provider operations. In Vermont, Ericsson partnered with Rutland City Public Schools and Vermont Telephone Company to bring free high-speed wireless internet to connect students and teachers. Ericsson has also partnered with the National Institutes of Health, Georgetown University and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on their open research dataset challenge COVID-19. More than 400 Ericsson volunteers joined together to work on 10 open tasks ranging from understanding COVID-19 risk factors to finding treatment protocols. For more information on Ericsson’s work during the crisis, see Keep America Running.

 

    • Google: Google has taken action by helping people find useful information, protecting people from misinformation, enabling productivity for remote students and workers, advancing health research and science, and taking care of their global community, including small- and medium-sized businesses. Google has also supported relief efforts and government organizations, for example through its philanthropic arm Google.org, they committed $50 million to the global Covid-19 response, focusing on health and science, access to education resources and small business support. For more resources, see com/covid19.

 

    • JMA Wireless: JMA Wireless has formed PREVAIL NY, LLC, an organization dedicated to providing the design and manufacture of emergency mechanical ventilation systems. In just 10 days, JMA Wireless developed a manufacturable design called ‘PREVAIL NY’, or Pandemic Response Emergency Ventilation Assembled In Liverpool, New York. The design leverages readily available parts, such as motors and standard sheet metal capabilities meant for mass production to augment the existing ventilator supply and providing key basic ventilation functions to relieve doctors of the need to make life-and-death decisions due to ventilator shortages. The approximate cost to produce PREVAIL NY is less than $500. The plans for the device are available as a free, open-source design for manufacturers globally to download at com.

 

    • Nokia: Nokia has launched its Coronavirus Global Donation Fund, which will support charities, hospitals, health clinics and other frontline non-government organizations who are leading the fight against COVID-19. The fund will further support the efforts to combat the effects of COVID-19 on communities, targeting areas where it is most needed across the world. Additionally, Nokia recently collaborated with U.S. Cellular to deploy additional spectrum allocated by the FCC to more than 250 sites in the Northwest United States, as well as in Wisconsin. Nokia is also helping the carrier track malicious malware schemes related to COVID-19 as well as giving service providers access to real-time and granular information about their networks during COVID-19 through Nokia Deepfield. These tools have been essential in enabling service providers to plan for increased network demands as a result of the global lockdown, keeping vital social linkages alive – from connectivity to essential services such as food delivery, health and social care as well as connectivity to the friends, family and community that sustain us all through difficult times.

 

We’re proud of our members who recognize the unique position we are in as industry leaders and are contributing to our nation’s health service and education sectors in effective and timely ways. We are stronger together and we’re looking forward to continued contributions and support through the OnGo Together Program.

 

CBRS Alliance members are stepping forward to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic in any way they can.

About Dave Wright

Dave Wright is the President of the CBRS Alliance.

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