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Networking & Wireless | News

UK Primary School Deploys 802.11ac WiFi

Windmill Primary School in Telford, UK, has implemented a 802.11ac wireless network to provide school-wide connectivity for students and staff.

The number of wireless devices accessing the school's network strained its previous WiFi infrastructure and couldn't provide full coverage across every building. Since the school is planning to purchase 360 802.11ac-compatible laptops for every student in the next academic year as part of its one device per pupil initiative, it needed to revamp its wireless network to support the new devices.

The school selected an 802.11ac Xirrus wireless network with XR-620 access points (APs). The APs feature dual 802.11ac radios, so they can operate in either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands, "depending on the current client mix," according to the company. The school will also use the Xirrus Management System (XMS) to manage the wireless network and Xirrus Application Control to optimize device performance.

The new network provides higher WiFi density and more consistent wireless coverage across all of its buildings. Students at the school use their iPads and Lenovo Yogas to access online services, video streaming and learning activities through YouTube and Espresso online learning. Classrooms in the school are equipped with Sahara LED screens, and teachers use WePresent to wirelessly control what's shown on the students' screens. The upgraded wireless network is intended to support the school's growing use of educational technology.

"The Internet speed and performance all around the school are much better, which has reduced frustration for teachers and students trying to work, stream and communicate at once," said Mark Gibbons, head teacher at the school, in a prepared statement.

Windmill Primary School in Telford, UK, located northeast of Birmingham, serves 360 students between the ages of 4 and 11.

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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