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Atlanta School Supports BYOD Initiative with Fiber Optic Network

The Walker School, a college-preparatory, PK-12 independent school in metro Atlanta, has upgraded from a 15 Mbps Internet connection to a fiber optic network to support the school's use of educational applications and online resources, as well as its bring-your-own-device (BYOD) program.

After consulting with other schools in the area, the Walker School selected Comcast Business Class Ethernet, which was able to provider faster connectivity at competitive prices. The new 100 Mbps fiber optic network was installed across the school's seven-building campus over the summer. It provides seven times more bandwidth, and its megabit-per-second cost is 76 percent less than the school's previous Internet service. When students and staff returned for the new school year, they noticed the improvement in speed and connectivity.

"We experienced periodic downtime with our previous vendor, and it was important for us to have a more stable connection, especially with more and more devices accessing the Internet," said Kerry Bossak, director of technology for The Walker School, in a prepared statement. "While the increased bandwidth and guaranteed network uptime were important factors in switching to Comcast Business Class, the cost advantage is a big deal for us because it means we have the bandwidth to support our technology in education initiatives while saving money to invest in other areas of education."

The school has 400 computers connected to the Internet and typically has 100 to 150 mobile devices on the network at any time. With the new fiber optic connection, its network no longer bogs down under the load. The new network also supports the school's online systems for report cards, attendance records, group collaboration, and communicating with students and parents. When the school needs to increase its bandwidth again, it can do so by simply calling the company and asking to scale up.

"As more schools move to online learning resources and integrating connected devices into the curriculum through programs such as BYOD, having fast and reliable Internet connectivity is essentially the blackboard and chalk equivalent of 21st century classrooms," said Bob Deckard, regional vice president, Comcast Business Services, Atlanta, in a prepared statement. "Because our Ethernet services are delivered across our modern fiber-based network, we are able to provide reliable, high-performance connectivity to our customers that can easily scale up as their bandwidth demands change."

Further information about Comcast Business Class Ethernet is available on the Comcast site.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].