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Lincoln Intermediate Unit Taps Ethernet for Education Resources, Disaster Prep

Pennsylvania's Lincoln Intermediate Unit (LIU) is providing several member districts with an Ethernet solution in an effort to support cloud computing and disaster preparedness programs currently in development.

Launched in 1970, LIU "serves local schools and communities, local businesses and nonprofit organizations, all Pennsylvania schools, Intermediate Units and libraries via statewide programs, and federal, state and local agencies," according to information on the organization's site. Services provided by LIU include Internet access, IT support via the cloud, videoconferencing tools, voice over IP (VoIP), hosted servers and a portal for streaming Discovery Learning resources.

LIU tapped Comcast Ethernet services to improve capacity. The organization has now connected 44 sites spread among York, Franklin and Adams counties with Ethernet Network Services and Ethernet Private Lines with speeds between 100 Megabits-per-second (Mbps) and 1 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps).

"The organization is also taking advantage of two 1 Gbps Ethernet Dedicated Internet lines that provide the Internet access for the schools to support online course management systems, which allow teachers to create their own online courses, websites, video content and calendars, as well as post assignments, test results and discussion boards for students," according to a news release.

Additionally, LIU is now able to offer data replication services at its New Oxford headquarters.

"More than 96,000 local students and faculty depend on us for access to their online educational resources each day, which means that we need to have total confidence in the quality and reliability of the communications services we use to ensure that they can connect to their data when they need it," said Jared Mader, director of education technology for the Lincoln Intermediate Unit, in a prepared statement. "Comcast has allowed many of our districts to increase their bandwidth exponentially — and for half the price, in some cases — which has given them access to cloud computing, video conferencing and other online educational tools that had previously been cost-prohibitive for them."

More information about Lincoln Intermediate Unit is available at iu12.org.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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