COVID-19 Support

COVID-19 support to our community

Early on among the unique and unprecedented challenges 2020 presented, the I-Light network team decided to put its focus on member support and engagement, to work tirelessly and flexibly to ensure its community’s needs are met and its services remained top quality.

Delivering on tremendous need for connectivity

Coronavirus forced students, faculty, and staff at I-Light’s 40+ member institutions to learn, teach, and work remotely. I-Light’s duty first and foremost was to deliver connectivity to the statewide higher education community it serves.

I-Light staff assisted in the acquisition, inventory, and distribution of over 260 MiFi (mobile Wi-Fi) hotspots throughout Indiana. I-Light is fortunate to have knowledgeable staff to manage educational broadband service (EBS), eduroam, and wireless connectivity for members—and that allow I-Light to be nimble and expert in its pandemic response. I-Light and the Indiana GigaPOP are proud to report that education and research networks maintained highest levels of functionality throughout the global health crisis. 


In 2020, I-Light and its members in public media facilitated virtual learning at the K-12 level.

Helping to bridge the digital divide among Hoosier families

I-Light has also supported our members in public media by enabling EduCast datacasting, which allows K-12 students in the state of Indiana lacking reliable internet access to learn at home through their local Public Broadcasting Station. The datacasting technology sends computer-based files over a television broadcasting signal. This initiative expanded access to essential online connections during the pandemic. 

Facilitating member engagement in a time of crisis and uncertainty

Pivoting from face-to-face meetings around the state, I-Light utilized virtual forums for connecting with its community. The Network Advisory Council (NAC), formed in late 2019, moved forward with its goals of increasing agency and providing authentic representation to member institutions.

The plan for launching monthly town halls also persisted virtually—and provided monthly opportunities for members to convey their ongoing and evolving network needs to I-Light leadership as well as to relay challenges and collaborate on finding solutions within their community during a most critical time. Finally, the 14th annual I-Light Members Meeting took to Zoom in November 2020.

Stepping up and supporting members in every possible way

In 2020, I-Light found new ways to support its community through the global health crisis. The I-Light team consulted and assisted its members on wireless implementations as well as writing grant proposals that sought COVID-related funding to provide no-cost commodity internet.