Wireless Infrastructure Upgrades
Devices such as Chromebooks and iPads are a very visible part of the technology rollout in the Beaverton School District's 2014 Bond Program. The unseen part that makes it all work are the upgrades to the District's wireless infrastructure. The project has touched every single school and building in the District. It finished on schedule and under budget.
Between January and September, the District deployed 27,000 Chromebooks and 5,000 iPads. Supporting the massive increase in devices is a new wireless system. Planning for the project started in October 2014. Installation began in February 2015 and wrapped up in June 2016. Previously, there were 1,200 access points on a Motorola wireless system. It was not capable of supporting all staff and student devices.
During installation, those 1,200 Motorola access points were replaced with a system by Aruba Wireless, which is designed for capacity, as well as coverage. In addition, another 1,500 access points were added, bringing the total to 2,700.
In elementary schools, the system was designed to support 30-40 devices per classroom. That number jumps to 40-60 devices for each middle school classroom, and 50-90 devices in high school classrooms.
The system also provides real-time, District-wide monitoring. The Information Technology Department is able to see the usage and make adjustments as needed. The Aruba Wireless System is designed to handle 80,000 to 100,000 devices. The District is currently seeing usage of about 40,000 wireless devices at any one time.
The project finished on schedule and under its $5 million dollar budget at $4.2 million.
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