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Alef Partners with Jackson Public Schools and W.K. Kellogg Foundation to Bridge the Digital Divide

Revolutionary Private 4G/5G Network Solution Ensures Affordable and Rapid Internet Access for Students

New York, NY (February 13, 2024) – Alef, a leader in mobile connectivity solutions, proudly announces a partnership with Jackson Public Schools (JPS), with support from the Community Foundation for Mississippi with funds from W.K. Kellogg Foundation, that closes the digital divide for hundreds of students in Jackson, Mississippi.

Affordability issues and limited coverage from cellular providers have created a digital divide nationally, leaving low-income students unable to access reliable internet at home, thus unable to participate in virtual learning. Even after the pandemic, which exacerbated the issue and created wider learning gaps, Jackson has had to unexpectedly move to virtual learning because of severe weather and water issues.

Alef’s Private 4G/5G Network solution, supported with a grant over $500,000 from the Community Foundation for Mississippi with funds from W.K. Kellogg Foundation, deployed a reliable, CIPA-compliant broadband connection for hundreds of students at their residences at no cost.

“At Alef, we are passionate about leveraging technology to enhance educational opportunities,” said Mike Mulica, CEO of Alef. “Our collaboration with JPS, backed by the Kellogg Foundation not only addressed immediate connectivity needs but also provided an efficient way for JPS technology staff to remotely configure and monitor devices.”

“Alef’s innovative solution breaks down barriers to online instruction, ensuring every scholar has the opportunity to thrive in a connected learning environment,” said JPS Superintendent Dr. Errick L Greene.

Key Outcomes:

  • Rapid Deployment: Within days, hundreds of students gained network access, minimizing disruptions to their education.
  • Cost Savings: Alef’s solution resulted in a 75% reduction in costs compared to a comparable Wi-Fi solution, eliminating telecommunication costs associated with existing MiFi devices and connectivity, thanks to federal funding and support from the Kellogg Foundation.
  • Safer Campus Environment: The network will contribute to a safer campus, providing wireless connectivity on school buses and enhancing digital literacy for JPS students.

 
“Achieving strong outcomes for children happens by connecting what families need – at home, in child care settings, at school, at work and in their communities,” said Todd Klunk, program officer at WKKF. “At the Kellogg Foundation, we want for every child to thrive and believe, as our founder did, that education is the best way for improving one generation over another,” Klunk said. “We are proud of the ingenuity of this program and the many partners who came together in service of our children. This program will help close the digital divide in our community and ensure our young scholars have access to high-speed internet at home, which is critical to their learning virtually and outside of school.”

Jack Hanley, CEO of Urban Data Strategies, acting as an integrator remarked: “Partnering with Alef, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, allowed us to connect JPS students faster than other networks. The seamless integration with JPS IT operations and lower costs per student showcase the success of this collaboration, serving hundreds of students.”

Alef continues its commitment to breaking barriers in connectivity, ensuring students have equal access to educational resources, especially in times of remote and hybrid learning.

 

About Alef

Alef stands as the only mobile connectivity SaaS platform company empowering enterprises and public service organizations with the independence to create, customize, and control their private network infrastructure. Featuring simple and enterprise-centric secure integration, fast deployment, and unparalleled performance and economics, its solution removes long deployment times and the complexity of working with mobile network operators and, as such, revolutionizes the way school districts and other education institutions unlock mobility and productivity (from closing the digital divide to delivering new learning experiences).


About Jackson Public School

The Jackson Public School District (JPSD) or Jackson Public Schools (JPS) is a public school district serving the majority of Jackson, the state capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Mississippi. Established in 1888, it is the second largest and only urban school district in the state.


About W.K. Kellogg Foundation

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org. 


To learn more about Alef, please visit https://www.alefedge.com/

Contact
Jeff Tennery
[email protected]

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