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Santa Fe Public Schools Deploys Fiber Optic LAN

Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS) has replaced the conventional copper-based local area network (LAN) at one elementary school with a new fiber optic LAN and plans to upgrade six more schools before the 2014-15 school year.

One of the school district's goals is to "ensure efficient and effective systems, operations, state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure to support instruction and student learning," according to information on SFPS's site. In support of this goal, the district implemented a 1-to-1 initiative at Ramirez Thomas Elementary School during the 2013-14 school year, along with a new fiber optic LAN that delivers gigabit speeds to students and teachers.

According to Elias Bernardino, executive director of IT for SFPS, the fiber optic LAN helped the district save money by eliminating the need for telecommunications closets and reducing the requirements for electronics, power, ventilation and air conditioning. "Optical LAN requires fewer electronics and less cabling, compared with legacy copper-based LANs," said Bernardino in a prepared statement.

SFPS chose a Tellabs Optical LAN, consisting of the Tellabs 120 Mini Optical Network Terminal and Tellabs 728 Optical Network Terminals. According to information from the company, "Tellabs Optical LAN converges all of a building's wired and wireless communications networks into one — handling Wi-Fi, data, voice, CATV, security, building automation networks and more." The optical LAN also enables more schools to be served from a single hub since fiber optic cable can carry signals 20 to 30 kilometers from the central hub compared to only 100 meters for copper cable.

Following the successful implementation at Ramirez Thomas Elementary, the district plans to roll out the fiber optic LAN technology to six more schools before the next school year.

Santa Fe Public Schools is located in Santa Fe, NM and serves approximately 14,000 K-12 students in 35 schools.

About the Author

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

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