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Arizona District Implements Fiber Optic Network with E-Rate Support

Nogales Unified School District #1 in Arizona has completed the implementation of a 100 percent fiber optic network for high speed Internet access and data, video and voice over IP (VoIP) transport.

According to Alejandro Lopez, information technology director for the district, Nogales needed to update its network technology to support distance learning applications, to improve video quality and speed and to allow students and teachers to take advantage of new educational opportunities through increased bandwidth in schools and administrative locations. "The goal of our department is to make technology an effective tool in the district so our students will be prepared to use technology as a tool in everyday life," he said in a prepared statement.

The district's new fiber optic network is provided by Conterra Broadband Services, and the multi-year contract is "partially funded through the federal Universal Service E-Rate program," according to the company. The new network is a point-to-point fiber network that provides each school facility in the district with 1 gigabit per second "and is scalable to 100 gigabits per second with no supplementary construction."

The district plans to use the fiber optic network to support online student testing, credit courses, advanced placement programs, certifications for district staff members and professional development support.

Nogales Unified School District #1 is located in southern Arizona and serves approximately 6,200 students in six elementary, two middle and two high schools.

About the Author

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