Networking & Wireless

Arizona Districts Complete 10 Gigabit Fiber Optic WAN

Two school districts in Yuma, AZ are now connected to a city-wide fiber optic wide area network (WAN), providing 25 schools and administrative buildings with 10 gigabit per second (Gbps) internet access.

Yuma Union High School District and Yuma Elementary School District One have both implemented digital learning initiatives, including a 1-to-1 netbook program at the high school district, which provides every student in the district with a netbook to access e-textbooks and other digital learning resources. The districts' legacy networks could not provide sufficient bandwidth for these digital programs, so Yuma Educational Technology Consortium, which jointly supports both school districts, signed a long term agreement to lease the 10 Gbps WAN connection from WANRack, a company that provides high-bandwidth, fiber-based communications networks and related services to schools throughout the United States.

WANRack has now completed construction of the 33 mile private fiber network, which offers a total of 240 gigabits for the city of Yuma and 10 gigabits per site. WANRack's design model enables it to provide lit or dark fiber connections, and the company claims it can provide "superior bandwidth, scalability and security as compared to traditional cable or telephone company offerings, often at a significant cost savings," according to a news release.

"The best part was turning the service on for the first time; there were zero issues and our new 10-Gigabit service has continued to work flawlessly since," said Dean Farar, director of technology for the Yuma Educational Technology Consortium. We couldn't be happier with the results!"

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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