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Networking | News

Georgia School District Increases Wireless Scalability for 1-to-1 Initiative

A Georgia school district has switched wireless network providers to increase scalability in preparation for the launch of 1-to-1 and BYOD programs and to cut costs.

Morgan County School System in Madison, which is planning to deploy approximately 600 netbooks, is now using Xirrus XN8 802.11n Wireless Arrays.

All series of Xirrus 802.11n Wireless Arrays have high-gain directional antennas, firewalls, threat sensors, spectrum analyzers, an on-board multi-gigabit switch, and controller on a modular chassis, They allow school districts to upgrade later, adding radios and increasing network traffic throughput without installing additional devices. In addition, the arrays use an integrated controller, which is run by a Linux-based Array Operating System called ArrayOS and can be centrally managed through the Xirrus Management System.

"We had an existing wireless solution that covered all of our campuses, and, while it provided sufficient coverage, it could not support the user density we required. We did some research on expanding the existing solution to meet density requirements, but, in the end, Xirrus was a more comprehensive solution that was more powerful, easier to manage, and less expensive," said Jay Cawley, director of technology at Morgan County School System.

Xirrus XN8 Wireless Arrays feature:

  • Maximum bandwidth of 2.4 Gbps;
  • Eight integrated access points;
  • Support for 900 Mbps; and
  • Access for up to 512 users.

"The two biggest victories for me were getting coverage in areas that we didn't initially anticipate and the ease and convenience of the Xirrus Management System (XMS). We use XMS as our primary management interface, and it has helped tremendously in our ability to monitor the network. We utilize the XMS to push out new firmware to the Arrays and to change policies and SSIDs on the network as necessary," added Cawley.

Morgan County School System has 3,300 students enrolled in primary, elementary, middle, crossroads, and high schools. This month, the district's third, fourth and fifth graders gave demonstrations on technology they are learning in the classroom, including Blabberize, Microsoft PointPoint, Google Docs, Google Maps, cameras, and interactive whiteboards.

For more information, visit the Xirrus or Morgan County School System Web sites.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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