Tellabs Optical LAN for K-12 Education
Reduces overall costs by interconnecting K-12 classrooms, buildings, schools and whole districts over fiber.
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Best connectivity for technology enabled learning

There is a national debate about how best to support K-12 student’s learning objectives with advanced technology, such as one gigabit connectivity for schools, a shift to cloud-based services, wireless Wi-Fi inter-connects, ubiquitous access through computers, laptops, tablets (including BYOD) and the provisioning of eLearning apps and eBooks. As technology-based learning tools are introduced, the bigger question is whether the inter-connect architecture of today’s school networks is suited for high bandwidth applications.

Tellabs Optical LAN enables K-12 schools to create fiber-based “Private LANs” across districts and eliminate telecom closets at individual schools for simpler provisioning of service and management of networks. The fiber-based solution is a more efficient and effective means to inter-connect wired, wireless, cloud and BYOD access for computers, laptops, tablets, eLearning applications and eBooks over fiber. Savings on operating costs and resources can be focused on other technology initiatives – such as wireless, cloud and seamless access for computers, laptops, tablets, eLearning applications and eBooks-  to improve the overall educational experiences.

Quick Facts


  • Optical LANs reduce operating costs because they have fewer electronics, less cabling, lower power needs and do not require telecom rooms. One central location can serve multiple schools..


  • Optical LANs are simpler than copper-based networks. There is less equipment and cabling to house and maintain – space saved can be converted to learning needs.


  • Agnostic support for technologies, services and applications while enabling lowest CapEx and OpEx for schools.



  • Optical LAN satisfies the intent and goals established within the eRate program.


  • Fiber networks are ideal for campus architecture,  with 300x better reach and migration to next-gen technologies because they have no theoretical bandwidth capacity ceiling.


  • Helps schools achieve sustainability goals because it significantly reduces energy consumption, plastics and other materials.




School boards quickly see the cost reductions enabled by deploying an Optical LAN. Administrators and teachers benefit when these savings are invested in school resources needed to improve the overall educational experience. School IT staff have the confidence that the network infrastructure helps them exceed operational efficiency goals, network up-time and security expectations. Students enjoy high performance and high availability access to school resources, including cloud, Wi-Fi and e-Learning apps over passive Optical LAN.



The benefits of fiber over traditional copper cabling are many. Fiber costs less to purchase and install, is smaller, lighter and stronger, has greater bandwidth capacity and reach, and lasts longer. Tellabs Optical LAN’s optical reach extends as far as 18 miles, enabling “private LANs” where one central location serves multiple schools. At each school, Optical LAN continues to eliminate traditional network demarcations by removing the need for telecom rooms, reduces LAN mid-span electronics, powering equipment, A/C and ventilation, cabling and associated materials. The solution also efficiently interconnects wired and wireless endpoints for Wi-Fi connectivity.




Optical LAN’s centralized intelligence and management simplifies the network and requires fewer IT resources. The solution is ideal for inter-connecting classrooms, labs, faculty offices, libraries, student common areas, sports facilities, cafeterias, bookstores and multi-purpose rooms. The network architecture also helps school districts achieve their sustainability and “green” goals.

eRate Impact


The good news is that the eRate program dedicates $1 billion to Category 2 network inter-connect upgrade projects. The goal of the program is to transition away from legacy inter-connect technology in a cost-conscious manner. However, there seems to be a foregone conclusion. that wireless Wi-Fi is the priority for such a transition. Actually, the wireless Wi-Fi portion is just one piece of a cost-effective end-to-end network inter-connect solution. Wi-Fi WAPs are interconnected by wireline, so there is still a need for fiber-based infrastructure upgrades. And, one can expect that the wired connectivity still remains in classrooms and across the campus, so having a cost-effective fiber-based means of inter-connecting both wired and wireless end-points is ideal. Passive Optical LAN can be that Category 2 network interconnect solution that efficiently transitions away from legacy, subtends wireless Wi-Fi, and occupies less space, consumes less energy and saves school districts money. Now that eRate changes has increased minimum financial responsibility of the school districts from 10% to 15%, there should be more emphasis on choosing a fiscally responsible technology like Passive Optical LAN and with the eRate program project funding availability decreasing “2 in 5” years to “1 in 5” years frequency, makes it more important for school/district to choose Optical LAN, which provides better future-proof investment protection.


A smart solutions that saves money


Tellabs Optical LAN enhances cloud-based services and Wi-Fi networks, while providing smart, simple IT WAN/LAN solutions. This saves money that can be applied to other technology initiatives such as cloud, Wi-Fi, tablets, eLearning applications and eBooks strategies.

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