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.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].