ONE way districts are negotiating cheap, reliable internet for themselves

Of course, as with any technology implementation, there is room for improvement. From a technical perspective, for example, Evans says she’d like to see centralized firewalls incorporated into the network as a way to prevent denial of service attacks. “These are concentrated attacks on bandwidth that take specific IP addresses out of commission,” says Evans. “Any steps we can take on the security side to prevent these problems would help the consortium as a whole.”

Inter-building connections

As the county continues to hone ONE’s network security and address other issues that come up, Mozdzierz says that last year Pontiac SD submitted an E-rate request for Internet connection installations “between buildings” at the district, which currently lacks a private fiber network. Instead, the district contracts with Comcast to provide those building connections.

Because the district has a high percentage of students taking advantage of free and reduced lunch options, it leverages significant discounts through FCC’s E-rate universal service refund program. “We basically apply every year for certain services, including the internal connections that we applied for in 2014,” says Mozdzierz. “It’s an annual process so everything is in the works now, with the final release window in March or April.”

Bridget McCrea is a contributing writer for eSchool News.

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