Networking & Wireless | News
UK School Upgrades WiFi To Support 1-to-1 iPad Initiative and BYOD
The Duston School in
Northamptonshire, England has upgraded its wireless network to support its
bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and Apple iPad 1-to-1 initiatives.
The school is in the midst of its 1-to-1 iPad rollout. Phase one has been
completed and saw the implementation of 150 of the devices for whole class use.
Phase two is currently in the planning stage and will introduce iPads for all
students and teachers. The school also has an existing BYOD program for its
sixth form students. However, the school's previous wireless network wasn't
robust enough to cope with the large number of connections, and the school
needed to upgrade before implementing phase two of its iPad program.
The school selected a
Meru Education-grade (MEG) wireless solution from
Meru Networks. The new network includes 48
Meru AP332 dual-radio, dual-band
802.11n WLAN access points throughout the school. According to Lucy Walshaw,
information and communications technology systems and delivery leader at the
school, students and staff are much happier with the upgraded network. "Before,
we had regular, heartfelt complaints about sluggish performance or being unable
to connect, as staff had lost confidence in the WiFi," she said in a prepared
statement. "Now we have nothing but praise!"
According to information released by Meru Networks, the school's old WiFi
network suffered from dropped connections and poor performance, and "the
school's passive infrared (PIR) sensors also caused channel interference with
the WiFi." The Meru Education-grade solution uses single-channel architecture,
which is designed to prevent channel conflicts, enabling the PIR sensors to
co-exist peacefully with the mobile devices. The school recently conducted staff
iPad training in the library and all 90 devices were able to connect to the
network simultaneously without issues.
With the new wireless network in place, the school plans to begin phase two
of its 1-to-1 iPad initiative. When it's complete, the network will support
approximately 2,000 iPads as well as 500 other wireless devices.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.