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WiFiRanger deploys 3,000 additional wireless routers for rural school buses

WiFiRanger’s recent acquisition by Winegard Company has made it easier to expand internet access to school districts across the nation hit by the COVID-19 shutdown.

Meridian, Idaho, September 9, 2020 – Building on the success of its Bus Response Program in Georgia and North Carolina earlier this year, leading mobile connectivity developer WiFiRanger continues its drive to bring high-speed internet to students across rural America.

Modified for use on school buses, the WiFiRanger Teton LTE-enabled router is making learning from home easier for countless students during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in areas with limited access to broadband.

The magnet-mounted, roof-top hotspot acts as a neighborhood hub with a maximum range of 400 feet. So, when a bus pulls up nearby, local kids can easily download and upload homework or other assignments.

Bringing connectivity nationwide

Due to demand in other states, such as Alabama, Colorado, Kentucky, and Virginia, WiFiRanger is working with parent company, Winegard, to deploy 3,000 additional units in September, with the Winegard-designed ConnecT 2.0 making up 60% of the shipment.

“Our new relationship with Winegard is paying dividends right out of the gate,” says Mark Maliwauki, WiFiRanger Director of Customer Experience & Success.

“The ConnecT 2.0 is already a Verizon-certified product, meaning we don’t have to wait to get our own certification before deploying new units to school districts in need. It’s a real win-win for remote and hybrid learning.”

The post-COVID educational landscape

“But this initiative goes beyond our current crisis and opens up whole new possibilities for high-speed rural internet education,” Mark continues.

“It’s exciting to be able to help these school districts as they look for innovative ways to use WiFi hotspots in the future. In fact, we’re working with manufacturers to get hotspots pre-installed in school buses, too.”

Bridging the rural/urban internet divide

“WiFiRanger’s Bus Response Program has been wildly successful,” says Kelly Hogan, Winegard Company Vice President of Innovation.

“It’s been a privilege to come together as a team—and to work with Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile—to deliver these systems across the nation. I genuinely believe every bus should have a router, as there are so many positives to this level of connectivity, beyond the immediate needs of this moment.

“We’re bridging the digital divide for the unconnected. And that’s the kind of mission our company is built to accomplish.”

For more information, check out this interactive map of every WiFiRanger-connected bus in the nation:

About WiFiRanger

Based in Meridian, Idaho, WiFiRanger is dedicated to producing American-made, top-of-the-line wireless routers for life on the move.

About Winegard Company

Built on more than 60 years of heritage in Burlington, Iowa, Winegard Company is a trusted partner for designing and manufacturing high-performance connectivity solutions. This includes WiFi, 4G LTE, 5G, satellite, IoT, broadband, video, and over-the-air technology for residential, commercial, and mobile. All made in the U.S.A.

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Two Connections Can Be Better Than One

Written by WiFiRanger Ambassador, Joel Weiss “docj”

Most of us who are dependent on cellular data connections know that even the best of them aren’t all that stable. In fact, if you use a speed test like you’ll observe that the speed of any cellular connection can vary rather dramatically even during the course of a speed test. In addition, both my OTR Mobile and my Verizon unlimited prepaid Jetpack SIM are subject to momentary “outages” lasting a couple of seconds. These often evidence themselves by brief rebuffering events on my YouTube TV.

Even though these brief outages are worse with plans that are heavily “network managed” even the hotspot on my postpaid Verizon plan exhibits significant variation on a moment-to-moment basis.

To combat this situation, I’m now using my WiFiRanger in Load Balance mode to “join” my two connections. The Ranger does not do true connection bonding (which is more complex and usually more expensive) but it does select which connection it wants to use for every webpage element or streaming segment. When one connection becomes slow the Ranger can choose the other. The result is that I’m now pretty much immune to the variabilities of my two connections. It’s not all that likely that both of my connections will slow at the same moment.

I’ve attached a screenshot which shows the real time data usage through my Ranger for a period of a couple of minutes. Usage through my Jetpack is shown in orange with the green representing the OTR Mobile AT&T hotspot. You can see how the load shifts from one connection to the other. You can even see moments when the green line seems to take over entirely from the orange one.

Screenshot of Control Panel with Load Balanced Ethernet WAN & Cellular Usage

What we’re doing here won’t help you if neither of your connections is fast enough to stream video, but it is quite helpful if you are concerned about moments during which one of your connections may drop below the threshold for high resolution streaming. When that happens, the router simply shifts the data stream to the other connection.

I won’t try to claim that WiFiRanger is the only router that has this Load Balance capability. But, typically, it is found in higher priced devices. If you’ve never tried it you might find it useful. It’s available on all WiFiRanger products including the new Converge models. It’s easy to set up and doesn’t limit your internet usage in any way.

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REV Adds WiFiRangers As Standard Option – Model Year 2020

REV GROUP Announces WiFiRangerTM WiFi + LTE Connectivity Solutions as Standard Equipment on Selected RV Motorhomes – Model Year 2020

March 8, 2019 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin  – In a joint statement, REV RV GROUP a division of REV GROUP (NYSE: REVG) (Decatur, IN) and WiFiRanger™ (Meridian, ID) announced today that “in-coach” private/secure local networking and WIFI signal boosting will be a standard feature on selected REV Class A Motorhomes in model year 2020.

“REV RV Group has a reputation of providing our customers with standard features they don’t typically find on other motorhome makes or in aftermarket channels. We’re continuing that reputation by announcing the WiFiRanger™ Sky4 DC as a standard feature on all of our class A gas products, and the WiFiRanger™ Sky4 ProPack w/LTE as a selected option on all 2020 products. Our customers continue to ask for secure, reliable, user-friendly connectivity solutions while they’re traveling in their REV coach, and we listened by making WiFiRanger™ a standard factory feature.”

Don Gephart
Marketing Manager, REV

“With several WiFi+LTE solutions out there we know REV GROUP had choices.  We’re naturally encouraged they see the value & stability WiFiRanger™ firmware/hardware is known for across the industry.  Having REV GROUP as part of our elite OEM roster has further accelerated our footprint in the RV Industry and we’re looking forward to providing safe, reliable connectivity services to REV Customers.”

Jim Owsley
VP Marketing & Communications, WiFiRanger

REV GROUP is the leader in connecting and protecting communities around the clock and around the world with a lineup of vehicles that have long served the bus, emergency, recreation and speciality markets.  WiFiRanger™ products are envisioned, designed & assembled in Meridian Idaho.  See product information at  For OE integration of WiFiRanger™ through MITO Corporation in Elkhart, Indiana call 574-295-2441.