Seattle Public School System Flexing Fiber Muscle


3/15/2007—The Seattle Public School System is in the middle of deploying an advanced fiber optic broadband network to support the district's advanced application requirements, as well as to reduce the costs it incurs by leasing network facilities.

Based on a synchronous optical networking (Sonet) and dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology from Fujitsu Network Communications, the infrastructure will serve up high speed connectivity (in excess of 100 Mbps) to the all of the district's 47,000 elementary, middle and high school students.

"One of the key responsibilities of our school district is to provide the tools that enhance educational opportunities for students at all levels of the educational system, while always being mindful of the costs to do so," said the school system's Manager of Network Systems Dugal Easton in a prepared statement. "With our original SONET network that was based on the Fujitsu Flashwave 4000 products, we were able to create a highly reliable network that gave students access to the vast resources of the Internet. In today's environment where bandwidth demands are much higher, Fujitsu has helped us create a powerful private network that can support all of our voice and data requirements, while eliminating the significant costs we used to pay for leased T1 and T3 services."


  • In the first quarter of 2006, the school system deployed Fujitsu Flashwave 7500 DWDM nodes in its backbone network to increase its capacity by a factor of 16.
  • In the second quarter, the school system deployed Flashwave 7500 nodes at all eight high schools and a major administrative site in order to establish gigabit Ethernet connections into the core network.
  • In the third quarter, these nine DWDM nodes began aggregating traffic from multiple Flashwave 4500 and Flashwave 4100 multiservice provisioning platforms (MSPPs), which were used to provide 300 Mbps Ethernet connections to each middle school (in place of pre-existing 45 Mbps T3 lines).
  • By the end of 2006, Seattle created its first OC-12 Sonet ring via Flashwave 4020 Ethernet service platforms (ESPs) deployed at nine elementary schools, providing 100 Mbps Ethernet connections to each of the schools (replacing leased 1.5 Mbps T1 lines).

Over time, the school system will install OC-12 rings to deliver 100 Mbps Ethernet connections to its remaining 63 elementary schools.

To monitor network performance and provision new circuits, the school district purchased a Fujitsu Netsmart 1500 element management system (EMS), which lets it perform surveillance and database management/backup for all the Fujitsu network elements involved in the new network, as well as legacy equipment.

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About the author: David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and editor and can be reached at

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About the Author

David Kopf is a freelance technology writer and marketing consultant, and can be reached at

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