Red Lion Area School District Case Study
Red Lion Area School District, located in Southern York County Pennsylvania, is focused on ensuring its students thrive in the 21st century. The school district, which is comprised of 7 elementary schools, a junior high and a comprehensive high school, is so passionate about leveraging the power of technology that it has implemented a “Bring Your Own Technology” policy, which enables students to bring their personal communication and computing devices to school.
Given the limited connectivity options available in this region, the school district was financially limited to accept less than optimal networking solutions. Their wide area network was a combination of DSL, internal optical fiber, leased optical fiber, and a few high capacity, microwave radio links. The challenge for the school district was that at any given time, the number of users on personal devices could double; so, it needed a network capable of scaling to support this peak demand. Red Lion came to the conclusion that it needed more than just a network upgrade; it needed a comprehensive plan that addressed all of its locations. That is when it turned to Conterra Broadband Services for a comprehensive solution.
After conducting an RFP process, the Red Lion Area School District selected Conterra Broadband Services. Conterra implemented a hybrid, wide area network that incorporates the best aspects of fiber and microwave to provide a comprehensive solution that is scalable, reliable and cost effective. Now, many of the schools in the district have a gigabit of bandwidth (1000 Mbps) dedicated to it. Prior to deployment of this new network, the maximum amount of bandwidth the district had at any of its locations was 50 Mbps. That dramatic increase in bandwidth ensures that it has implemented a solution that not only meets its needs today but well into the future. All of this was accomplished for a cost that realized thousands of dollars in savings every year when compared to its former provider’s contract.
The school district is already seeing the benefits of this new network. The amount of bandwidth available at each school has increased dramatically. The district is now confident that it will be able to seamlessly support the bandwidth demands of Social Media, Web 2.0 and cloud-based educational applications—not to mention potential security needs and applications. This fiber-based network opens up a wide selection of educational content and programs that were previously unavailable.
Having worked with Conterra for years, the school district was confident that the service provider would deliver on its promises and implement a network that would have the high level of quality necessary to support its students, teachers and administrative staff.
This network was eligible for funding under the E-Rate program. This federal program provides substantial cost subsidies to assist most schools and libraries in the United States to obtain affordable telecommunications and Internet access.