SD-WAN 101: Understanding the technology that makes your network more efficient

SDWANThere are a few clear signs that your school’s network deserves a failing grade. Do students in the computer lab struggle to do research because the administrative offices are hogging bandwidth? Is it difficult to scale and manage, especially across multiple buildings? If so, it might be time to rethink your networking.

For many, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) is the gold standard for wide-area network (WAN) routing. But if you’re experiencing the challenges above, it might be time to look into SD-WAN. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , ,

4 steps to create a CIPA-compliant network for your school

internet schoolsThis question will be on the final exam, and it’s one you don’t want to get wrong: Are you CIPA compliant?

We’re talking about the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), the federal legislation that requires schools and libraries to restrict access to obscene or harmful content on the internet.

It’s so important that eligibility for E-Rate funding hinges on schools’ and libraries’ CIPA compliance. They must certify that they’re enforcing a policies relating to internet safety, including blocking or filtering access to material considered obscene, pornographic, and harmful to minors.

Are your students protected? Does your school network fit the letter of the law? Here’s how to make sure you’re CIPA compliant. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , ,

Here’s how to build a cost-effective network and maximize E-Rate funding

1-1 initiativeArmed with E-Rate funding, schools and libraries are bolstering their wireless networks by upgrading routers and adding access points. Many schools use the funding in preparation for a 1:1 initiative, where each student is paired with a tablet or mobile device. Libraries can enhance their patrons’ experiences by improving wireless access.

However, schools and libraries shouldn’t just measure performance of their network, but also must balance those benchmarks with cost-effectiveness, affordability, and overall return on investment (ROI).

In preparing for a 1:1 rollout and wireless LAN overhaul, maximize your investment by laying a groundwork that optimizes your network’s capabilities while remaining affordable. Pursue improvements that maximize your funding. And in some cases, look into monetizing your Wi-Fi for a greater ROI. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , , ,

How E-Rate funding can help schools and libraries secure their wireless networks

erate securitySchool districts across the country just wrapped up the application process for the next round of E-Rate funding, while libraries still have a few weeks until the deadline. As the adoption of mobile devices, tablets, virtual reality, and 3D printers adds pressure to their wireless capabilities, many are planning to expand their networks through the E-Rate program.

But as they do, they should keep in mind that schools and libraries can be breeding grounds for viruses and bugs – security bugs, that is. A growing wireless network poses additional challenges to IT staff, who must think about security as funding helps expand their network. Continue Reading…

Tags: , , , ,

The deadline for E-Rate is approaching — are you on schedule to get funding?

classroomWant to lose a classroom’s attention in less than 15 seconds? Open a video on a poor wireless connection.

It doesn’t have to be this way, but for many schools it happens daily. E-Rate funding, which comes from the biggest grant program for K-12 school districts and public libraries, provides Internet access and infrastructure for schools and libraries throughout the country. Run by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), E-Rate helps schools and libraries improve their Internet access and wireless connectivity by providing money for technology upgrades and improved access. The pot of E-Rate funding is now above $2 billion. Continue Reading…

Tags: ,