Networking & Wireless | News

Missouri School District Upgrades Fiber Optic Network to 10 Gbps

Fort Osage School District (FOSD) in Missouri will upgrade its fiber optic network to connect all district facilities with 10 Gbps of bandwidth. The 12-mile fiber optic network will support the rollout of new Chromebooks and iPads for students and provide the necessary bandwidth for upcoming Common Core online assessments. Kansas City-based Unite Private Networks (UPN) will provide the fiber optic network.

Beginning this fall, the district will provide its seventh grade students with Chromebook computers and replace its elementary computer labs with mobile Chromebook and iPad carts for use in the classroom. According to a news release, the change will more than double the availability of computers for student use.

"Increased connectivity is the first step in our master plan to provide students greater access to technology," said Maria Fleming, assistant superintendent of education services at FOSD, in a prepared statement. "One emerging reality that we've come to understand is that the use of a computer can't be a special opportunity reserved for only a portion of the school day or week, but rather a tool that's integral to the job of being a student... just as it is to most adults in this world."

Students in grades three through eight will also begin taking the Smarter Balanced Common Core online assessments in 2015. The upgraded network will support the increased number of devices and provide the bandwidth required for the online assessments.

"As FOSD progresses on the path of digital learning and online assessments, the network will provide the bandwidth necessary to drive these applications and the platform for continued growth in the future," said Linda Hammer, vice president of education sales at UPN, in a prepared statement.

Fort Osage School District is a public school district located in Independence, MO. It serves nearly 5,000 students and employs almost 400 staff at five elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and an early childhood center.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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