How To Reduce Wireless Traffic Jams In Schools

With the rise of tablets and smartphones, wireless networks in schools are under pressure. To further improve the quality of digital learning, a number of government initiatives are in place to connect even more students and teachers. For example, the L.A. Unified school district made an effort to supply 700,000 students and teachers with an iPad, a project worth of $1 billion.

 

While this sounds like a great plan, here’s the catch. The L.A. school district’s Wi-Fi network actually cannot handle this type of traffic – the iPads ended up flooding the network, causing it to shut down, with students missing deadlines.

 

At a first glance, the solution seems simple – upgrade the Wi-Fi network. In fact, the FCC recently announced its plans to spend $2 billion in the next two years to bring fast Wi-Fi networks to schools and libraries. However, Wi-Fi upgrades alone won’t eliminate the connectivity bottlenecks either.

While this may come as a surprise to many, the solution to improving wireless networks lies in the LAN infrastructure, specifically in fiber-based Optical LAN. Unlike the traditional copper LAN, Optical LAN improves Wi-Fi networks by:

 

  • Supporting a higher number of Wi-Fi wireless access points (WAPs), thus achieving better coverage – and connecting these as far out as 18 miles
  • Shifting critical LAN services and applications onto the Optical LAN’s high-availability infrastructure with 99.999% uptime, resulting in only 5.26 minutes of downtime per year
  • Providing unparalleled security, as fiber is more secure than copper

Furthermore, Tellabs partners with best-of-breed wireless equipment providers, such as Meru Aruba and Ruckus, providing customers with end-to-end approach that combines their strengths with the benefits of the Optical LAN architecture. For examples of this success, you can read about Santa Fe Public School’s or Elauwit’s deployments.