Step into any school today and the opportunities for learning look very different from what they did when my generation was younger. While desks, pencils and books are still in place, technology is too, playing a significant role. It’s no longer enough that students are able to recognize their letters, numbers and colors by the time they enter first grade. Thanks to advancements in technology and a connected world, the demand is much greater.
To that end, the demand for web-scale networking has also increased. Those companies able to provide seamless network connectivity, encrypted security and continuous management and support are in large demand. And with the pressures mounting in academia to better compete with peers around the nation and the world, it’s time to consider upgrades that enable students to learn in ways they never have before.
For the third largest school district in Texas, Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD), the opportunity to learn anytime and from anywhere is becoming a reality. The district is in the process of deploying a private optical network that will leverage high-capacity networking solutions from Phonoscope LIGHTWAVE (News - Alert), a private fiber optic network service provider, as well as Ciena. The goal is to build a 100G network that will enable interaction and collaboration among peers, with opportunities to engage in distance learning.
The new network is funded in part by the E-Rate program and will service roughly 114,000 students and 14,000 staff across more than 100 campuses and service centers. The robust fiber optic network will also be used to improve access to Web-based educational resources, as well as support the growing adoption of mobile devices among students.
While smartphones were once considered a complete distraction in school, Pew (News - Alert) Research Center found that 73 percent of teenagers have smartphones and use them to connect to the latest educational tools and applications. Smart developments in web-scale networking include support for mobile devices and applications, recognizing the value that mobility brings to education.
“Leading school districts like Cypress-Fairbanks are moving to higher speed and higher capacity networks to meet new curriculum standards while keeping up with growing mobile device use by students and staff,” said Jason Phipps, General Manager and Vice President, North America, Ciena, in a press release. “This network solution gives Cypress-Fairbanks a powerful and reliable way to support digital learning and collaboration efforts today – and well into the future.”
With the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform offered by Ciena, the school district will enjoy reliable high-capacity connectivity between its six main hubs and three data centers through the extensive dark fiber network footprint provide by Phonoscope LIGHTWAVE. Reliable connections will also be provided between the district’s educational campuses and its data centers, one of which is a colocation facility located outside of the district. Managed services will be provided over the network by Phonoscope LIGHTWAVE.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson