Networking & Wireless

Pittsburgh Public Schools Upgrades to Fiber Optic Network

Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) is implementing fiber optic broadband infrastructure to all of its schools and offices.

PPS owns thousands of iPads for student use. To support the devices, the district runs batch file downloads at the end of each school day. The process requires 3-to-4 gigabits of bandwidth between each school back and the district's data center. With the district's previous network, which split one gigabit of bandwidth between 10 schools, that process caused a significant bandwidth bottleneck.

According to Scott Gutowski, chief of information and technology for PPS, the district wanted to "increase the speed of our data network between all of our sites, while reducing costs," so students could use iPads and other devices to access online educational resources without the constraints of limited bandwidth.

The district selected Fibertech Networks as the provider for the new network, which will consist of a 10 gigabit Ethernet network from Fibertech to all 61 Pittsburgh Public Schools sites and terminating at the PPS Data Center. Fibertech will also provide a 10 gigabit ring with 1 gigabit of dedicated Internet access to its data center. Fibertech will use its existing 480-mile fiber optic network in Pittsburgh and build lateral fiber optic connections to each PPS site using converged packet optical and packet networking solutions from Ciena.

"The network will allow us to efficiently and effectively serve the IT and communications requirements of our administration, faculty and students between our facilities," said Gutowski in a prepared statement.

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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