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fiber optic

Texas district upgrades fiber optic network

New 100G high-capacity network will support 128,000 students and staff across Houston

Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District (CFISD), the third largest school district in Texas, is deploying a private optical network leveraging high-capacity networking solutions fromPhonoscope LIGHTWAVE, a private fiber optic network service provider, and Ciena.

CFISD is building a 100G network with the vision of providing students and staff ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ broadband access so they can easily interact and collaborate with peers and engage in distance learning initiatives.

With approximately 114,000 students and 14,000 staff across more than 100 campuses and service centers, CFISD plans to utilize this robust fiber optic network to improve access to web-based educational resources while enhancing learning and collaboration.

The network is funded in part by the E-Rate program and is designed in accordance with the Smart Education Networks by Design (SEND) Initiative through the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN).

The Ciena-powered 100G network will enable CFISD to support the growing adoption of mobile devices among students – according to a Pew Research Center study 73 percent of teenagers have smartphones – and connect to the latest educational applications and tools. CFISD’s ownVision 2020 program includes a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) policy, which the school district expects will result in the need to support up to three devices for each student (depending on the grade level of the student), teacher and staff member.

Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform and 5160 Service Aggregation Switch offers reliable high-capacity connectivity between CFISD’s six main hubs and three data centers through Phonoscope LIGHTWAVE’s extensive dark fiber network footprint. The network will also provide reliable connections between CFISD’s educational campuses and its three data centers, one of which is a collocation facility located outside of the district and used to back up all mission-critical information.

Phonoscope LIGHTWAVE, a CFISD strategic partner of many years, will provide managed services to CFISD over the new network. This deployment builds on Ciena and Phonoscope LIGHTWAVE’s long-standing work together as well.

“Our mission is to maximize every student’s potential through rigorous and relevant learning experiences by preparing students to be 21st century global learners,” said Frankie Jackson, Chief Technology Officer, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. “To achieve it, we are proactively building a high-capacity network that will support the increased demands of wireless technologies, mobile devices, and high-speed connectivity. The Phonoscope LIGHTWAVE and Ciena solution provides the scalability and security we need to support these innovative programs that facilitate new types of classroom instruction, while also managing our mission-critical data and enabling future growth.”

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Laura Ascione

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