Kansas District Deploys 75-Square-Mile WLAN

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Soon to be Kansas' second largest school district, Olathe District Schools (ODS) has deployed a wireless LAN to 50 schools and eight support sites spread over 75 square miles.

Using technology from Pleasanton, CA-based Trapeze Networks, the WLAN will provide wireless connectivity to 26,000 students and 4,300 faculty, who will use WiFi-enabled Gateway and HP laptops, as well as and Palm PDAs.

While the ODS wanted to leverage its next network infrastructure to provide learning applications and assessment tests, it didn't have enough classroom space for computers. Moreover, the district's computer labs didn't possess adequate storage to support such a large user base. So it opted for Trapeze Smart Mobile to create a more dynamic network environment.

"We needed a wireless solution that could scale to handle our growing bandwidth needs and security requirements, as well as being easy to configure and manage remotely across multiple locations," said Rita Lyon, ODS's executive director of technology.

To manage the WLAN from a central point, ODS uses Trapeze RingMaster to plan growth, deploy service, monitor performance in real-time, respond to alarms, and optimize the network. The system also identifies and mitigates any potential rogue access points across all sites.

Because school networks typically have longer life spans--as long as five to 10 years--ODS opted for the Trapeze infrastructure because it supported various existing 802.11 specifications, as well as still formative interfaces, such as 802.11n. In that regard, Smart Mobile's architecture should help the district maximize its investment, according to Lyon.

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About the author: David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and editor and can be reached at david@prooferati.com.

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About the Author

David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and marketing consultant, and can be reached at david@dkcopy.com.

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