MLTI WiFi and COVID-19 school closures

With the closure of public schools and the subsequent transition to remote learning, many schools have identified a lack of adequate Internet access in the homes of some of their students, limiting the ability of those students to participate in online learning opportunities.  For MLTI wireless schools, there may be a way that Networkmaine can assist you in addressing these situations.

Networkmaine is offering to enable, for the duration such a service is needed at a school, an additional “guest” SSID.  This additional SSID would be completely segregated from any existing network(s) at the school.  The hope is that the MLTI wireless service currently bleeds out of the building to the extent that someone could park in the parking lot and obtain service, allowing them to participate in online learning while maintaining the social distancing that the school closures are intended to facilitate.  These are the details of what we are proposing:

  • The SSID will be ‘mlti-guest’ and would be an open network (no form of authentication needed).
  • The new ‘mlti-guest’ SSID would be seen everywhere the school’s MLTI SSID(s) are currently seen.
  •  Traffic on the new ‘mlti-guest’ network will use a separate network from anything in use at the school, and will be completely segregated from all existing school networks
  • Networkmaine will provide DHCP and NAT services for this traffic, if needed or desired (see caveats).
  • Traffic from the new ‘mlti-guest’ SSID can optionally be delivered to the existing LAN interface, on a separate vlan from the existing wireless traffic to maintain segregation, if access to local resources is needed.
  • The new ‘mlti-guest’ SSID would be removed when normal school operations resume (or upon request) to prevent students from using it in favor of the existing managed school network.

Some caveats to be aware of:

  • If you are currently using the MLTI guest wireless service, this offer does not apply to you (you are already effectively doing what we are proposing).  Though you may consider removing any restrictions you are placing on your guest wireless network currently (if you lock out school devices, or restrict bandwidth for instance).
  •  If your MLTI management path includes a VPN router or passes through school network infrastructure, Networkmaine will not be able to enable the NAT and DHCP features (we can tell you if this applies to you if you aren’t sure).  In some cases we can work with school network staff to work around this, but where VPN management is in use it may not be technically possible.  In such cases the service could still be enabled, however the school would have to provide NAT and DHCP services.
  • Umbrella content filtering and security services will be applied.

If you have any questions about this offering or are interested in deploying this new temporary wireless service at your school, please contact Networkmaine.