Kajeet got it’s start in the wireless business when CEO and founder Daniel Nea1l set out to find a smart phone solution for his children. Over the years he took the idea of providing smartphone services and by proxy, internet services to students and coupled that with that fact that 1 in 3 families don’t have access to internet at home. Internet is becoming the backbone to K-12 education in many areas. While the digital divide is well known across the country, Neal and the team at Kajeet started focusing on education and how the needs of students are underserved when they don’t have access to the internet at home. They dubbed this the “Homework Gap” and Kajeet quickly became the Homework Gap Heroes. Digital learning is becoming a way of life for students across the country. Text books will one day be a thing of the past. Now, student get their classwork, lessons and even their textbooks online through their Chromebooks, iPads, or smartphones. This is great inside the walls of the classroom.
Now, teachers can deliver a richer educational experience and the knowledge on the internet is in the palm of their hands. The Internet is for far more than just research papers. With all of this innovation in learning comes innovation in homework assignments. Now, when students leave school for the day they are still reliant on the internet. Most schools use some kind of homework management system found online. For those students who’s schools have converted to completely online textbooks, the internet is required for that as well. Kajeet’s educational broadband services include a SmartSpot wireless internet device that students can take home and connect to their personal devices. Now students have access to the internet to do school work, read and research. The SmartSpot includes Kajeet’s proprietary educational filtering to insure that students are using the educational SmartSpots for their intended purpose.
Currently over 300 school districts across the country and in Washington DC, use Kajeet’s Educational Broadband either via the SmartSpot or their SmartBus technology that’s allowing students to use wifi on the bus traveling to or from school. Just as school was starting back for the 2017-2018 school year, Kajeet announced that their Educational Broadband is now available utilizing the services of all four major carriers; Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint. This new expanded nationwide coverage means if there is wireless coverage Kajeet can work there, thus shrinking the Homework Gap even more.
The internet isn’t just a convenience for kids in school today. It’s been proven time and time again that connectivity inside and outside of the classroom leads to:
- Higher graduation rates
- More parental involvement
- Better student engagement
- Increased test scores
- Decreased bus behavior incidents and more
Do you have students left out or left behind because of access to the internet at home? Kajeet can help.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito on Tuesday cuts the ribbon on Forest Street.
The road was reconstructed through a $1 million MassWorks grant. Polito discusses broadband buildout in Tyringham. Anna Lucey of Charter Communications, at left, answsers questions. Also at the meeting were Selectmen James Consolati and Michale Curtin, and Carolyn Kirk deputy secretary of housing and economic development, and Rep. Pignatelli.Jen Salnetti, left, gives Polito freshly picked carrots from her Woven Roots Farm as Tyringham Town Administrator Molly Curtin-Schaefer looks on.Polito visits the freshly paved Forest Street. Rep. Smitty Pignatelli with Polito. Sen. Adam Hinds, Lee Selectmen Chairman David Consolati, Polito, Pignatelli, District 1 Highway Director Francisca Heming, Selectman Thomas Wickham and Administrative Officer Christopher J. Ketchen.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito shakes hands with Lee Selectmen Chairman David Consolati after he said he was a Republican.
LEE, Mass. — Lt.
Gov. Karyn Polito assured local officials here that she’s making sure small towns have access to funding for projects critical to their growth.
“Often I am the voice of the communities outside of Boston to make sure that the dollars get to other places in the commonwealth and to partner with others private and public to get things done,” the former Shrewsbury selectman and state representative said on Tuesday.
Polito was speaking at the completion of one of those projects — the million-dollar rehabilitation of Forest Street that was made possible by MassWorks funding specifically set aside for rural communities.
“In this case we were able to use 10 percent of the funds for rural communities, we have a specific carve out for investments in rural communities, that is populations under 7,000 people,” she said. “The roadway is important to this community.”
Forest Street is a connector between Route 20 in Lee and Tyringham, provides the only access to the state boat ramp on Goose Pond and is used by school buses and public safety vehicles. The project, done on time and under budget by local contractor LB Corp., was a complete reclamation with installation of culverts, drainage and guardrails.
“The last few years this was like the lunar landscape now it’s paved with gold,” joked state Rep. William “Smitty” Pignatelli, D-Lenox.
Pignatelli said this kind of infrastructure work is important for the economic development and growth of smaller towns.
State Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, agreed, saying small towns need this support to ensure there’s not a growing gap between eastern and Western Massachusetts.
“There’s a difference between how you handle smaller towns and rural areas,” he said. “It’s important that we have more programs like this.”
Lee was one of four stops on the lieutenant governor’s visit to the Berkshires; she’d spent about an hour each in Washington, Becket and Tyringham to learn how state funding was being used to advance broadband infrastructure.
“When we came into office there were 53 communities that were not on a pathway to doing so,” Polito said. “We’re now at eight remaining and the three communities that we visited today are making great progress … soon we hope to see the construction broadband infrastructure in their communities.”
Tyringham, along with Egremont, Hancock, Peru and Princeton, are benefiting from a $4.4 million grant to Charter Communications, through the Massachusetts Broadband Initiative, to complete the “last mile” in internet connections. Charter will deliver access to Spectrum cable television, internet and voice services ranging upward from 60 megabits per second.
Washington received $490,000, Becket $2.1 million and New Ashford $280,000 in Last Mile grants toward municipal solutions to broadband connections.
In Tyringham, Charter Communications Director of Government Affairs Anna Lucey said the company is working with Verizon and Eversource in installing the connections, although the signoffs from those utilities may take some time.
“All the utility companies will be aware of the priority of these projects by the administration and the good partners at the state who will be working for you to push things along,” she said to the roundtable of local residents and officials including Pignatelli and Hinds. “Once those come back, we have a conservative estimate of a year to build the entire system.”
Customers can pick from different packages, starting from $29.99 for the first two years.
Jen Salinetti of Woven Roots Farm said she needed reliable internet service for her business, and the current satellite service she has isn’t enough.
There is no cost to the town for the buildout but Charter is only required to cover a minimum of 96 percent.
“In our public hearings, there was a strong sentiment that we should cover the whole town so we’re going to swing back to Charter after this and see what it would cost to pick up the rest,” Selectmen Chairman James Consolati said. “So there might be a cost to the town.”
Polito later described the access to broadband as “transformational in terms of having the ability to grow their economy, to connect more students — younger and older — to educational online learning and from a safety standpoint, from an aging standpoint, having that connectivity is so critically important.”
She said she Gov. Charlie Baker were impressed by the partnerships happening in the Berkshires, pointing to the towns of Lee and Lenox now sharing an administrative officer, Christopher J. Ketchen.
Lee Selectmen Chairman David Consolati said those partnerships also cross parties, as he and fellow Republican Polito shook hands across Democrat Pignatelli.
“He’s one of the biggest persons I call to have help,” he said of Pignatelli. “We work together.
That’s the way it should be. We’re all working for the same goal: to deal with our communities and to try to put the best foot forward and have things that we need done.”
Consolati said he’d pushed for more from Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick and while he thought the Baker administration was doing better, he was going to push for more from them as well.
“Lieutenant governor, you came from the same place I did,” he said. “We shouldn’t be satisfied. We should always push for the next step. Unless we push for that next step, we’re failing.”
And if she was interested in another infrastructure project, he had a big one the town’s been pursuing for years: new sewer and water lines to the town’s three vacant mills.
“Give me a call,” Consolati said as Polito laughed. “We’ll work it out.”
AirAsia Group signs contract to offer Inmarsat’s GX Aviation high-speed broadband on more than 120 aircraft
Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced that AirAsia Group has selected its next-generation GX Aviation inflight broadband solution for more than 120 Airbus aircraft. The landmark contract signed by Inmarsat and AirAsia Group, through its subsidiary ROKKI, covers all existing and future Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft operated across the AirAsia Group, including the long-haul operator AirAsia X. The agreement also has the scope to include any additional aircraft types due for delivery in the coming years, such as the Airbus A350. The first installations of GX Aviation onboard AirAsia Group aircraft, together with the launch of commercial service, are both scheduled to commence in the first half of 2018.
Inmarsat Aviation President Philip Balaam said, “AirAsia Group is one of the aviation industry’s leading innovators and we are delighted that GX Aviation will play a key role in their future service offering. The fact that we have signed this contract within months of announcing a Memorandum of Understanding is testament to AirAsia’s confidence in GX Aviation and builds on its successful track record as a leading customer of our SwiftBroadband service.
“The scale of this contract, covering more than 120 existing aircraft and one of the industry’s largest orderbooks for additional aircraft, showcases our status as a global market leader in advanced inflight broadband. Inmarsat has the fastest growing service uptake in our market, with, following this agreement, more than 1,300 aircraft, expected under signed contracts, both installed and under backlog, for our next generation GX Aviation and European Aviation Network (EAN) solutions.”
AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes said, “GX Aviation will form the backbone of AirAsia’s digital cabin offering. By delivering inflight connectivity that’s indistinguishable from what you get on-ground, our guests will be able to stay connected in ways that matter to them, whether it’s streaming movies or music, checking social media, messaging friends or catching up with work emails. Coupled with our ROKKI entertainment and e-commerce platform featuring free movies, music, articles and games as well as shopping, AirAsia guests will soon be able to enjoy one of the richest digital inflight experiences in Asia, while also enhancing our knowledge of our guests with very rich data.”
This contract supports Inmarsat’s strategy of providing airlines with tailored scalable capacity by designing, owning and operating a global network of High-Throughput Satellites (HTS). GX Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with seamless, reliable high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. It is the only service in the market that guarantees minimum data rates, ensuring that airline passengers can browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience comparable to the mobile broadband services they may receive on the ground.
AirAsia Group will connect to the GX network using exclusive new JetWave terminals produced by Honeywell Aerospace. The terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.
Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services.
Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat operates around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (ISAT.L).