New Mexico District Deploys Wireless WAN for eLearning Initiative


Farmington Municipal Schools of Farmington, NM has completed installation of a wireless WAN to improve its networking capabilities and performance. The district contracted with Austin, TX-based Trillion Partners to build a hybrid network consisting of its existing fiber optic cabling and Trillion's point-to-point wireless links, which aided in the district's connection of 21 sites across high desert terrain.

Prior to the Trillion contract, FMS relied on T1 lines to network all of its communications technology, and, as the district's capabilities and subsequent bandwidth usage grew, the system had become quite overloaded, noted district CTO Charles Thacker. The growth created "a bottleneck at each school site," he added, "instead of at the external Internet connection, which is where we want it to be."

The WAN upgrade has also allowed FMS to complete the rollout of the Farmington Learning Initiative, which currently provides laptops to 2,200 middle school students and aims to expand over the next two to four years to provide mobile computing devices to all students in grades 6 through 12. In addition, the district is now able to refine its general IT services, server consolidation, and centralized facilities management, according to information released by the district.

Both the district's WAN upgrade and the FLI receive funding from the federal E-rate program, designed to aid eligible schools nationwide in the acquisition and improvement of telecommunications and Internet services, both for technology education and for technology assisted learning in all subjects.

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Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.