2020 E-Rate Season— Is Your Wireless Network Due For An Upgrade?

Is Your Wireless Network Due For An Upgrade?

If you need ideas for how to spend your 2020 E-rate, Wi-Fi 6 may be a great option. Wireless use is growing exponentially in 2020, and that’s putting pressure on many current K–12 networks. Because of these new challenges and realities, we have seen many K–12 districts are adopting the new Wi-Fi 6. Many educators are looking to this new wireless standard because it’s designed to deliver the best possible experiences in high-density, mobility-centric environments, both indoors or out. Here’s what you need to know as you consider your options:

What is 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)?

Wi-Fi 6 is the latest standard from the Wi-Fi Alliance based on the 802.11ax protocol, and provides critical capabilities needed for next-generation enterprise requirements. More technically speaking, 802.11ax is an IEEE draft amendment that defines modifications to the 802.11physical layer (PHY) and the medium access control (MAC) sublayer for high-efficiency operation in frequency bands between 1 GHz and 6 GHz.

Why Upgrade to Wi-Fi 6?

According to EdTech magazine, a school district in Minnesota is one of the many who have adopted the new Wi-Fi 6 standard. They did so “to be ready for future networking, including expanding calls for wireless connectivity, Robbinsdale embraced the new Wi-Fi 6 standard. Last summer, the district installed 972 new Aruba access points across 15 buildings.” Wi-Fi 6’s many benefits include stronger security standards, improved spectrum management, and increased throughput. The biggest benefactors of Wi-Fi 6 are school districts in more dense environments, which can see a 400% increase in throughput with Wi-Fi 6. For schools with an increasing number of wireless devices and applications that are struggling to meet the bandwidth demands, Wi-Fi 6 promises seamless connectivity.


As with any new technology and potential Wi-Fi upgrade, finances are a huge factor. However, you may be able to utilize your E-rate for this upgrade. Although Wi-Fi 6 is not right for every school district, there are options. Selecting the best fit or you is a matter of understanding which solution delivers the right capabilities for your specific community and stays within your budget. We can help. Contact us today!