Networking & Wireless

Tiny District Deploys Gigabit Speed Network

Kahlotus School District in southeast Washington state, with just over 50 students in gradesK-12 and 18 employees across four buildings, has upgraded its network to gigabit speeds in preparation for its digital learning initiatives.

The district's previous network infrastructure supported only 10/100 speeds (10 and 100 megabits per second) on 16-year-old wiring infrastructure, and the district had never owned any Ethernet switches. "Upgrading all of our networking technology to modern-day standards was our number one priority," said Glenn Whitcomb, technology director, who supports Kahlotus and two other districts.

The district considered bids from multiple providers before selecting D-Link's DGS-3120 switch series, which supports physical stacking, multicast and enhanced security. "One of the biggest reasons we opted to go with D-Link was the company's willingness to help a small district like ours get to the level we needed to be at," said Whitcomb in a prepared statement. "This is not a district with deep pockets."

The district initially installed two DGS-3120-48TC xStack Managed 48-Port Gigabit Stackable L2+ Switches on a trial basis and then installed two more units before the trial was over. The district can now support gigabit speeds at every desktop, and Whitcomb can monitor and troubleshoot the switches remotely from his office 60 miles away from the campus.

"We now have the ability to place PoE devices where we need to, can deliver content wirelessly and if we want to do density coverage, we can put drops in every room," said Whitcomb.

The district will use its upgraded network to support digital learning initiatives, and in the future the district plans to add IP surveillance security cameras, which will require traffic to be streamed on separate VLANs.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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