Washington District Upgrades Wireless Network

Ocean Beach School District in Washington has rolled out a new wireless network, replacing a previous 802.11n network that reportedly failed to deliver interoperability with the district's legacy laptop systems.

The new network is based around hardware from Aruba Networks and is designed to oprate on the 2.4 GHz band to support the district's older laptops, which use 802.11g. It's also designed to cut back on dropped connections, which had been a problem with the district's previous installation.

“Our experience highlights that there remain significant differences between wireless LAN vendors, and the proof comes not in the marketing materials but the real-world deployments,” said Tom Thompson, network administrator for Ocean Beach SD, in a statement released this week. “We tried in vain for months to make our previous 802.11n system work properly but simply could not obtain service in the 2.4GHz band. Also, our users experienced dropped laptop and Wi-Fi enabled phone connections as they roamed from classroom to classroom. Those issues disappeared after we switched to Aruba. The network has performed flawlessly from the day it was commissioned, and because of ARM adding an access point could not be simpler--hook it up and it works.”

The upgrade was completed during the spring semester.

Ocean Beach School District serves students in two elementary schools and one combination middle school and high school.

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David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

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