Delivering connectivity across your school

Unlimited bandwidth, improved security, uptime benefits, cost savings and future flexibility. Joe Cook, national account manager for IT Connect and APOLAN marketing committee member, explores how Passive Optical LAN delivers 21st century connectivity in schools

IT managers and infrastructure directors are constantly pressed with a need for greater bandwidth, security and connectivity. There’s a constant cry from students, faculty and administration for ‘more bandwidth’ and a need for a scalable solution which is robust, reliable and reduces the pain points often felt in an active ethernet environment.

Alternative teaching and learning methods, combined with the internet of things (IoT) in the classroom and on campus, exacerbate these pain points daily. A recent study from Gartner found that there were an estimated 8.4bn connected ‘things’ in 2017 and they anticipate this will increase to 20.4bn by the year 2020! With a growth trend like this, a traditional technology refresh of network switches and copper cables simply cannot meet demand…there must be a better way.

Are you familiar with… Passive Optical LAN

Educational institutions are constantly seeking better solutions to enable greater learning and opportunity. Passive Optical LAN (POL) is one such innovative solution which is growing in popularity with many in the education sector. POL not only meets current demand, it scales in a way to allow for significant growth over time. It truly recasts the mould for networks in an education environment.

POL affords the user a host of benefits which cannot be claimed today by active ethernet networks built on traditional copper cabling. POL reduces the capital outlay (CAPEX) and operational expense (OPEX) in long-term use environments. Saving money is always good news – especially in education.

A matter of money

When POL is deployed over a fiber optic infrastructure it is often considered ‘future proof’ because the fiber utilised is capable of almost unlimited bandwidth, requiring no upgrade for decades.

POL infrastructure can significantly cut costs for schools, academies and MATs; it eliminates the need for a recurrent budget for a network infrastructure refresh, which is routinely required by copper-based networks. It also reduces the physical footprint of the network.

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Centralised management with the capability of delivering a signal of up to 20 miles can also contribute to significant savings and fewer data closets and all their necessary components and code requirements leads to a more effective use of space in each building.

Reinforcing your network security

POL is more secure than copper systems; built to a unique standard, it is the same technology the telephone carriers have used for almost three decades. What does this mean to you? This means it works – always – because it simply must.

Finally, POL is easy. Whether in new construction, renovation or when upgrading existing technology at your school, there’s a POL solution for you. A fiber-based infrastructure is ideal for new school premises but a retrofit for existing facilities with copper infrastructure can also be done. POL delivers unlimited bandwidth, improved security, uptime benefits, cost savings and future flexibility like no other network solution – hands down.

About APOLAN

The Association for Passive Optical LAN is a non-profit organisation composed of manufacturers, distributors, integrators and consulting companies who are actively involved in the Passive Optical LAN marketplace. Our members support the growth and education of the Passive Optical LAN industry and are focused on formulating solutions on how best to market, install, educate and support this burgeoning field.

About the author

Joe Cook serves as national account manager for IT Connect, Inc. He’s responsible for introducing the company’s capabilities in customising IT solutions on large-scale infrastructure projects to customers in the healthcare, education and corporate environments. With a strong understanding of the IoT, and how the almost-limitless bandwidth capabilities a converged network can afford, Joe helps his customers better leverage their resources to care for their staff, clients, patients and students.

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