The Internet Is a Human Right

Burning the Rulebook that Previously Governed the WIFI Landscape

Apogee - Software Defined Antennae Platform
Apogee – Aura Wirless

It isn’t exactly clear when the internet shifted from being a luxury to a necessity. Maybe it was when you realized you wouldn’t stand a chance at your job without the ability to check your email at a moment’s notice. It may have become clear when your kids needed to stream videos every day to keep up with their homework. Or perhaps it was when it dawned on you that that your eyes spent as much time scanning a screen every day as your head spends on a pillow every night. If this past year has made anything clear, access to the internet has taken on importance only rivaled by access to clean air and water.

Our world runs on connectivity. The internet isn’t just an extension of our social lives. It’s also where we buy the things we need, stay up to date at work, and most importantly, where our kids go to learn and prepare themselves to be competitive and competent. Being left out of connection is an enormous disadvantage because the world can’t afford to think of the internet as a luxury. It is a necessity.

Unfortunately, it’s a need that is going unmet for a vast swathe of the country. In 2019, Microsoft estimated that 162 million people in the US don’t use broadband internet, either because they can’t afford it or because it’s unavailable, and 20% of rural students don’t have broadband internet access at home.

Before Covid-19, the digital divide was already a problem, increasing the disadvantage faced by lower-income households. In the age of remote learning and working from home, failing to bridge the divide has turned into a colossal mistake, but it’s also a mistake that is very easy to understand. Guaranteeing internet access to the entire population would be a huge challenge, probably requiring a massive government effort.

Big problems require great ingenuity, and thankfully there are companies up to the task. Emerging tech has advanced at an impressive rate, and people like those behind Aura Wireless have asked themselves how they can use the cutting edge to fill a need that is going left unmet in too many parts of our country.

Aura Wireless is burning the rulebook that previously governed the WiFi landscape. Their Apogee Antenna takes the network offered from as few as one AP and extends the service area by 22 acres. When multiple antennae work in concert, the coverage becomes eye-popping. In one of their most impressive cases, they used only three antennas to cover most of a 122-acre apple orchard.

In another more recent example, they deployed into an event called the Shot Show, which in 2019 used ten different APs to cover the grounds. In 2020, using Aura’s Apogee Antenna, they were able to better service with only two APs. The head of that event reported, “with Aura’s consistent, powerful network performance, we hit our mark of excellence with a bullseye.”

So how can Aura be used to bridge the digital gap? In today’s world, students and professionals frequent parking lots outside public libraries to take quizzes and attend Zoom meetings. It’s an untenable stopgap solution to a problem that shouldn’t exist anymore. Aura offers a low-cost way to create community hubs for internet access for communities, events, and organizations suffering from their lack of connectivity. The coverage is better and more reliable than ever. It’s all made possible by the kind of innovation we’ve always relied upon to solve our biggest problems.

Written by: Holly Davis, CEO, Komplement Consulting

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School Safety & Security – Where are we now & has it Improved?

With students returning to school, tensions are high, and safety is paramount. There is no doubt that COVID-19 is on the hearts and minds of many, but has technology improved on the physical security side to make an impact? This article will answer these questions & more, in a world in need of hope and peace.

Over the last 20 years, school security consisted of cameras, a school resource officer, and more recently – identification-based access control. In March 2020, Alyssa’s Law passed, which requires all public schools in the great state of Florida to install a silent alarm that directly connects to local law enforcement. This is a step in the right direction, but is it enough?

Some would say yes, but a company out of Atlanta Georgia – Centegix -would say no. Centegix has designed and successfully deployed a new technology called CrisisAlert in over 1,000 schools. What is CrisisAlert? Great question!

According to, CrisisAlert is an Internet of Things (IoT) solution powered by a private network and an enterprise SaaS. Users can instantly activate an alert via the CrisisAlert Badge. Administrators can manage and monitor an incident in real-time, or implement a lockdown through the application.

Let me break it down to you in plain English – CrisisAlert is a keycard (similar to a hotel room key) that has a single button and tracking capability. If there is a non-active shooter emergency (injured or sick student, etc.), an employee can push the button three times, in which the office will receive the alert and location coordinates, and respond accordingly. If there is an active shooter event, the employee can press the keycard eight times or more (yes that’s right eight times, to prevent confusion or false alarms) and this will send the cavalry and depending on protocol, trigger a lockdown.

Let’s take it one step further. CrisisAlert also comes with audio & visual notification features. This facility-wide alert, communicates emergency information using colored strobe lights, desktop alerts and intercom integration. Installing the system requires no alterations to physical structures or electrical wiring required. Therefore, you can be up and running faster than you may think!

So yes, there is hope in the world… of school security – it is called CrisisAlert by Centegix. And its not just school security they provide a safer place, they also cover hospitality, healthcare, and commercial businesses. Should you have further questions, interested in a demo, or want more information, vTECH io is here to help take you to the next level of security with CrisisAlert. Contact our Education Solutions representative for a demo.

By Jens Buff