Networking & Wireless
Billings District Upgrades Broadband Network
Schools has replaced its aging copper-based network with a new
FiberLAN system to provide broadband access throughout the district.
The school district picked Zhone
Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) in order to
give students and faculty better Internet broadband access. The new
will now support 16,000 students and staff in 22 elementary schools and
Along with providing more
access, it is expected that the new network will also result in cost
due to reduced maintenance. At the same time, the Billings district
advantage of the FCC's E-rate program to fund much of the project,
part of a larger five-year plan to upgrade all of its technology.
"Our goal is to maximize
technology so we can provide an environment for our students to learn
their technology skills," said District Network Manager Larry Bybee.
Zhone, we will continue to offer those high standards across our
The district worked with CTA
Architects & Engineers in choosing Zhone Technologies and
representatives said the package provided to them will result in $3 million
"As we started to research
the project with copper, we realized we couldn't upgrade all of the
because the cost to rewire them all was too great," Bybee said. "Then
technology consultant, Kris Good of CTA, suggested we check out GPON."
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.