Networking | News

Nebraska District Partners with UPN for Fiber Optic Network

Nebraska's Lincoln Public Schools has signed a 12-year contract with Unite Private Networks for fiber optic network services throughout the district.

The network includes more than 90 route-miles of underground and aerial fiber optic cable and was designed and built in 2001 by UPN as part of a previous fixed-cost lease agreement.

LPS currently serves more than 36,000 students with 7,000 staff members at more than 60 schools with an annual budget of approximately $320 million. In three consecutive years the district has seen increased enrollment of 800 to 1,000 students.

"As we grow as a district, we need to deliver more services," said Kirk Langer, director of technology for Lincoln Public Schools. "This type of technology allows us to do that without a proportional need for additional budgetary resources."

With speeds of 1 gigabit per second, Langer said, "There is no application that we want but are unable to run. Voice over IP, video streaming, video conferencing--we can do any and all of them. We can do all of them simultaneously."

In May 2011 a fire destroyed the district office building, including the primary data center. Within 48 hours, short-term and long-term recovery plans, including provisions for a new data center and fiber routing to temporary buildings, were in place.

"It was a critical situation, and UPN mobilized with us, putting us in a position to recover in a very quick and agile fashion," said Langer.

The project is funded in part by the FCC's E-Rate program, designed to assist schools and libraries implement and maintain telecommunications and Internet services. More information is available at

More information about Unite Private Networks is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at

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