State of Utah Begins Work on Private LTE Network for Education, Healthcare

A network that connects Utah's K-12 schools, colleges and universities, public libraries and healthcare providers is forging ahead with plans to set up a private LTE network, to address the digital divide. The Utah Education & Telehealth Network (UETN) began the project to deliver broadband wireless access to facilitate online learning in the state. The implementation of the first sites has begun and is expected to be running this fall.

UETN signed a five-year supply agreement with TLC Solutions to provide the core network infrastructure. Quortus, a UK company, will provide the technology, specifically, its Enhanced Packet Core (EPC) platform.

"TLC provides us with flexibility in spectrum, radio networks and user equipment. The EPC [multi-access edge computing] (MEC) solution gives us exactly what we need to grow a private LTE solution," said Jim Stewart, UETN chief technology officer, in a press release. "Their extensive knowledge of LTE and 5G technology is an essential ingredient in our ability to move forward with this dynamic and important networking project."

The project leverages Citizen Band Radio Service (CBRS) spectrum, which is being promoted by the Federal Communications Commission for private networks, to support remote learning in areas that are pricier than or harder to reach with more common forms of broadband, such as cable, DSL or satellite.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.