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GVTC Takes Gigabit to School

Jason Meyers

GVTC Communications is extending its optical network to a tech-savvy Texas school district, and in doing so demonstrating an important community application of gigabit networks.

The carrier serves a 2,000-square-mile region in parts of North San Antonio, the Texas Hill Country and South Central Texas and is gearing up to launch a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network in September that will be able to provide gigabit services to about 43,000 homes. Now, Boerne Independent School District has tapped GVTC to build a network that will deliver 1Gbit/s symmetrical connections to each of the district's campuses and administrative offices. (See GVTC Eyes a Gigabit Future.)

The new network will replace a 15-year-old dark fiber network GVTC built for the district, says Dennis Binkley, manager of direct sales and security for GVTC.

"We're dismantling that and rebuilding it with lit services," he says. "We're going to overlay a 10-gig network and drop a symmetrical gig at each campus, then bring redundant uplinks to the Internet from two separate exchanges."

Get the latest updates on the Gigabit Cities trend by visiting Light Reading's broadband/FTTx content channel.

GVTC has wired a number of school districts in its footprint, but Binkley says Boerne is very progressive in its use of technology and uses a lot of video as part of its curriculum, so demands a high-speed and reliable network.

"We encourage our teachers to be innovative and to try new things, and they're not shy about doing that," says David Boggan, director of communications for Boerne ISD. "But we have to provide the infrastructure to accommodate that. This affords us the chance to use a wide array of educational applications and technologies that are out there."

The network is also a way to prepare for expansion, Boggan says. The US Census recently ranked Kendall County, where Boerne ISD is located, the fifth fastest-growing county in the nation. "That means we're a growth district," he says, "and with that comes the need to prepare ourselves."

— Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, Light Reading

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User Rank: Light Sabre
8/31/2014 | 11:36:32 PM
Re: Now wait a few years....
There's a lot of complications when it comes to education.  In my experience, academia is slower to adapt.  Not always, but it always seems to be playing catch-up more so than other environments, even when the options are on the table.
User Rank: Blogger
8/29/2014 | 1:01:26 PM
Re: Now wait a few years....
Agreed -- I'm very interested to see how educational techniques might evolve because of gigabit (and more) connectivity. Couple this with gigabit access at home via a FTTH network, and it definitely opens a lot of options for app and service developers. 
User Rank: Blogger
8/29/2014 | 10:13:37 AM
Now wait a few years....
Speed is one thing, application another.

And then IMPACT another.

In a few years time these folks will be able to see if the delivery of such bandwidth sparks innovation in not just educational practices but also in the kinds of things that the end users wil do with it - this is where the next generation of apps dev/tech startups could come from.
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