Networking & Wireless | News
San Francisco USD Upgrades Wireless
San Francisco Unified School District
(SFUSD) has overhauled its wireless network to provide improved coverage and
reliability for 9,000 staff and 56,000 students.
The district has a large number of schools, many of which were built in the
1930s and 1940s. Some of the buildings are as large as a city block and are
constructed of lathe and plaster, cinder block concrete and security glass with
metal meshing, making it difficult to transmit wireless signals. The legacy
wireless network was maxed out, and network management required six different
controllers, plus an orchestration agent to manage the controllers. "Things
simply grew out of hand," said David Burns, network manager for SFUSD, in a
SFUSD is in the process of replacing its legacy wireless network with a
Ruckus ZoneFlex Smart Wi-Fi
solution, including more than 1,500 Ruckus ZoneFlex indoor and outdoor Smart
Wi-Fi dual-band access points (APs). The district is also using Ruckus
ZoneDirector 5000 WLAN controllers in a fully redundant configuration to
identify the number of devices connected to the wireless network and to define
user or device-specific access policies.
SFUSD uses the Ruckus WLAN controllers with its Microsoft Active Directory
domain servers to provide user authentication, so students and staff can log on
to the network with their device and the predefined user policies are
According to the company, the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7372 and 7982 APs use adaptive
antenna technology that will provide SFUSD with pervasive Wi-Fi coverage and
stronger signals, and the district has already reported four times faster speeds
compared to the legacy WLAN.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].