Networking & Wireless
Central Missouri District Beefs up Wireless Infrastructure
Public Schools in central Missouri is updated its Wi-Fi infrastructure to improve speed.
The district, which sprawls out over 300 square miles
in and around Columbia, MO, with
18,000 students in 30 K-12 schools, picked Ruckus
Wireless to supply it with
the new 802.11ac
Wave 2 technology, an advance in terms of speed over 802.11ac
Wave 1 and way ahead of the 802.11n equipment most districts still have.
According to Ruckus, this is the first deployment of
class Wi-Fi in the United States. However, a recent report
International Data Corp.
said education is fueling growth in the WLAN market
and it expects nearly three-quarters of all new WiFi infrastructure
installations in schools to be Wave 2 technology by 2017.
"Our move to a complete district-wide Gigabit-class
infrastructure gives us the power to address future requirements, many
are hard to even anticipate," said Columbia Public Schools Technology
Director Christine Diggs. "Fast and reliable Wi-Fi access is now simply
imperative for delivering a 21st-century education."
Ruckus will deploy more than 1,400 Wave 2 access
points in the
Columbia district facilities that will be managed by a cluster of 100
controllers. Ruckus Wireless's 802.11ac Wave 2 product can deliver up to
signal gain and aggregate data rates of over 2 Gigabits per second.
District representatives said the changeover was called for
of the high demand required to support the growing range of
devices and services used by its faculty, students and administrators. More
teacher evaluations, in-class collaboration, guest access, student
systems, Google apps, scientific simulations, video streaming and more represented
that its legacy Wi-Fi infrastructure was not able to meet.
What's more, district representatives said the number of
required to keep the old wireless network up and running was "staggering."
"This demand for capacity is being fueled by the need
wireless bandwidth in and out of the classroom," said Ruckus Wireless
COO Dan Rabinovitsj, "along with the influx of increasingly powerful smart mobile devices
to access content and online digital curriculum."
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.