Worldwide lockdowns brought on by the pandemic have forced businesses, schools, and government organizations to put most development plans on hold for over a year now. Thankfully, the availability of vaccines and routine safety precautions has put society back on a path to some level of normalcy. Along with that, the latest relief package should give recipients a much-needed boost to help catch up on delayed projects. Roughly $2 trillion in funding has been secured for aiding organizations, but may run out fast to do high competition across the nation.

When Congress passed the second COVID relief package back in December, $54 billion in funding was secured for K-12 education, specifically for digitally enhancing school districts.  This massive amount of money creates a rare opportunity to revamp outdated networks, so students and teachers have access to the latest and best technologies. Schools should take advantage of these funds by providing students and teachers with advanced cloud capabilities that can be used for hybrid learning and communication. Administrators can also utilize contact tracing programs and student management through mobile devices, giving schools new strategies for managing student and staff safety.

State and local governments share the same opportunity to revitalize networking capabilities, and also provide employees with the technology to manage their work from home. Even after restrictions ease up, the demand for cloud resources will likely remain in place due to a new appreciation for remote access to tools, services, and applications. Governments should make the most of these funds by overhauling legacy networks, and provide employees with the latest networking features so remote access is always an available option. This would also help speed up and protect online services, so government employees can better assist the public without worrying about technical difficulties.

The need for public networking has never been more essential, and the latest relief package may be the best opportunity to enhance urban environments with a proper cloud network. Not only can public Wi-Fi give all citizens easy access to the internet, state and local governments can benefit from network metadata to gain insights into the population. Public networks may also be the best defense for any future outbreaks, and governments can use mobile and IoT devices for contact tracing and updating citizens with push notifications. COVID relief might be the easiest way for underdeveloped cities to adopt modern smart capabilities for both public safety and convenience.

The likelihood of a relief package this large being passed again is low, so eligible organizations need to take advantage of these funds to ensure everyone is connected under any circumstance. Extreme Networks and Analytics can provide any organization with the advanced networking tools required to work safely, efficiently, and reliably. With the end of many or most pandemic restrictions in sight, now is the best time to prepare businesses, schools, and government facilities with the cloud capabilities to bounce back stronger than ever.

This blog was originally published on Extreme’s website.  It has been used here with permission from the provider.