Thank You, Wi-Fi

The pandemic demonstrated the value of ubiquitous Wi-Fi and its critical role in keeping us connected and our global economy moving. We now expect connectivity everywhere we go, and the experience we have with our Wi-Fi network can make or break our relationship with the network owner. Whether it’s a student, guest, customer, patient, or employee experience – Wi-Fi is a critical enabler.

At Extreme, we took steps to ensure our employees could work remotely when we shut down our offices. We already had the technology in place to sustain flexible working environments with applications like Zoom, Teams, OneDrive, VPNs, and more. When we went remote, we launched an internal campaign to share WFH best practices with employees and we had a virtual space for employees to communicate and still feel connected to the company culture. Thanks to Wi-Fi, our employees stayed connected, completed their jobs, connected to coworkers, and have been effective, if not more so, while working from home.

The healthcare industry relied on Wi-Fi to deliver critical services during the pandemic- from powering pop-up triage tents to mobile healthcare clinics, testing sites, and mass vaccination events. Not to mention telehealth has finally found mainstream adoption in many corners of the world. When Novant Health was tasked with setting up a temporary vaccination site to vaccinate over 2,200 individuals, it required a strong and secure network to process and protect patient information. Thanks to the simplicity of Extreme’s cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution, they were able to roll out APs mounted on rolling carts across the facility in under one hour, providing strong connectivity throughout the site.

Wi-Fi also allowed us to have more normalcy in our lives during a turbulent year. Extreme’s Wi-Fi enabled the NFL to host Super Bowl LV - the first 100% cash-free, mobile-ticketed NFL game. Even with limited capacity, Wi-Fi usage demonstrated those in attendance were more connected than ever, while network operations behind the scenes reduced operating risk and aided the safety of everyone in the stadium.

To keep students engaged in the educational experience, Shady Point School District in Oklahoma distributed Chromebooks and deployed Wi-Fi access points around the town for students to use if they did not have access to their own network. In New Zealand, Manukau Institute of Technology leveraged the power of Wi-Fi to make its systems accessible to staff and students at any time or place they need it, all the while decreasing their network costs and resources.

This World Wi-Fi Day is a great time to reflect upon how Wi-Fi has empowered us to remain connected, do our jobs, celebrate milestones, and more as we navigate the pandemic and its fallout. Share your stories of how Wi-Fi has kept you connected with the hashtag #WorldWiFiDay and tag @ExtremeNetworks.

It is amazing to see how Wi-Fi has evolved throughout the years, starting as an idea that seemed so unrealistic at the time to something so many people around the world can’t imagine their lives without.

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To learn more about how Wi-Fi has evolved, check out CWNE #4 David Coleman’s Wi-Fi Nostalgia Blog Series:

About the Author
Lisa Yeaton
Manager, Social Media

Lisa Yeaton is a Social Media Manager at Extreme Networks. In her role, Lisa oversees all of Extreme's corporate social media accounts and creates corporate communications content.

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