Networking & Wireless

Broward County School District Accelerates Internet Content Delivery

Broward County Public School District in Florida has implemented open content caching in an effort to deliver online content to classrooms faster.

The district's network infrastructure covers 270 sites, including schools, technology centers and administration buildings, and 225,000 students and 32,000 employees use it on a daily basis to access cloud services, digital instructional materials, personalized learning and collaboration tools, rich media activities and online testing. Teachers have been increasing their use of online educational resources in the classroom, and consequently straining the district's network capacity.

With the goal of reducing maintenance costs and expanding the network capacity to keep pace with traffic growth, Broward County implemented the UltraBand open content caching system from PeerApp. With UltraBand, when a student or teacher accesses online content, the system checks to see if it already has the content stored in its cache. If it does, UltraBand serves the content directly from the cache rather than downloading it from the Internet again. If it doesn't have the content in its cache, it downloads and serves the content, and also stores it in its cache for future use.

According to Doug Pearce, director of technical support services for the district, the implementation of UltraBand has resulted in "impressive bandwidth savings and a noted improvement in end-user experience."

At this point, the district's UltraBand system has six gigabits per second (Gbps) of traffic-handling capacity, enough for current needs, but as their traffic continues to grow, they can expand the system to handle traffic capacities of up to 100 Gbps.

The district is also working to meet the standards of the Broadband Imperative, which are recommendations from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) to address K-12 infrastructure needs. PeerApp helped the district "address the tenets of the Broadband Imperative, and do so ahead of schedule," said Pearce 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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