Networking & Infrastructure | News

New Hampshire District Ramps Up Wireless

In an effort to improve performance and enhance network security, Amherst School District (ASD) of Amherst, NH and Mont Vernon School District (MVSD) of Mont Vernon, NH, both under the auspices of School Administrative Unit #39, have deployed centrally managed wireless networks to serve their combined school facilities and several other buildings. The networks are built around gear from Enterasys.

One problem the districts sought to tackle was that of technology resource sharing, specifically using portable laptop carts that can be wheeled between classrooms for maximum utility. However, explained a spokesperson, in the past teachers had complained about wireless "dead zones" and were reluctant to bring the carts into classrooms that faced this problem. With the new networks, teachers can easily access the Internet from anywhere in their respective schools. In addition, students and staff in public areas of the school facilities can gain access via their own laptops or portable devices.

"Time is a huge commodity in a school. Our teachers have very little time with their students and every minute they need to wait for access or are unable to get coverage is time lost teaching," said Jason Lozzi, network and system administrator for SAU #39. "With Enterasys Wireless, we have a very user friendly network with better coverage, reliable access and the capacity to handle more users in a small area."

Additionally, said Lozzi, the intuitive central management platform makes it easier for his staff to handle network traffic, maintenance, and security efficiently, freeing up time to focus on district IT initiatives aimed at improving education.

ASD and MVSD, which comprise four school facilities and additional buildings, together enroll about 1,800 students in grades K through 8 and employ some 350 faculty and staff. The new wireless systems consist of three Enterasys network controllers, one each at ASD’s Amherst Middle School and Clark-Wilkins Elementary Schools (two buildings on nearby properties with fiber optics connecting the joint network) and one at MVSD’s Mont Vernon Village School.

Editor's note: This article has been modified since its original publication. We previously reported that the new gear had been deployed at five schools in SAU #39. Information received from a source indicated the new network had been deployed at four of them. Numerous other minor details have been changed as well. [Last updated Jan. 26, 2010 at 11:01 p.m.] --David Nagel

About the Author

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.