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Fiber optic to be deployed in Ohio Schools

By Donna Donowitz
April 27, 2011
Schools in two districts in Ohio are set to receive new cabling that will give them access to a fiber optic wide area network.

High-speed networking and internet access are increasingly seen as essential tools in an ever-more-connected world. If this is true in the business and government sectors, it is perhaps more crucial than ever that students have access to the connectivity tools they will need upon graduation.

Broadband fiber optic networks are used for a variety of purposes, including accessing information, communication and collaboration between students. Increasingly, schools are utilizing cloud-based software applications that require broadband connections for effective use.

The new data services are set to be provided to schools in the Elyria City and Perrysburg districts in Ohio. Both districts have signed agreements to receive access to the services for 10 years.

The fiber optic networks will be installed and maintained by Unite Private Networks, a company that specializes in data communications networks for schools, governments, hospitals and other institutions.

Rob Oyler, chief marketing officer for UPN, said the agreements will help the company expand fiber optic services in the state of Ohio. "The education market continues to demand levels of bandwidth and network design they cannot find with the incumbent providers," Oyler said.

UPN currently provides fiber optic data communications networks to customers in 19 states.

Brian Kokai, technology director for Elyria City Schools, said the district is "excited" about the implementation of the new fiber optic solution, because it will allow the schools to consolidate its data centers and "continue to grow our network application offerings, including voice and digital video distribution, without fear of running out of bandwidth."

According to Judy Gallagher-Cosgrove, vice president of business development and UPN, shrinking budgets and growing bandwidth needs are forcing schools "to consider long-term solutions" for network bandwidth. "Bandwidth is now the third utility, behind power and water," she said.

Gallagher-Cosgrove added that many customers now view fiber optic WAN solutions as a means of addressing both their limited resources and rapidly growing bandwidth needs.

UPN recently provided new fiber optic networks to a group of five school districts in the state of Illinois. Three of the districts that received the new networks are located in the Chicago area, while two are in the region of Peoria.


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