In the digital age, it’s all about instant access.
Richmond County schools are struggling with that within their current network.
“It’s very slow and it’s keeping teachers from using their instructional materials,” said Robert Jankus, the director of information technology.
That means when teachers want to show streaming video or incorporate more online media content, they bog down the entire network.
“We already had schools suffering that couldn’t do their daily payroll, not to mention the instruction they couldn’t do,” Jankus explained.
That will all change this December when the district switches over to a high-speed network.
“I think it’s huge. All our kids are connected,” Jankus said. “They’ve got phones, Internet, iPads and iPods. Bringing technology into the classroom is a key deal.”
The network the district currently uses is comparable to dial-up speeds. The information that is sent only has a limited amount of space to go through. When it’s a lot of content, it takes time. The new pipes they’re feeding information through are a lot larger and that means information can travel faster.
“Increasing bandwidth and speed will allow them all to perform their jobs better,” Jankus added.
Schools in Richmond County will go from sending 1 million bytes per second to 1 billion bytes per second.
“It’s about a thousand times faster as far as speed,” he said.
Eighty-seven miles of fiber are being laid underground throughout the county, which means each student in every school will not have to wait as long to access a website.
The district expects everyone to be on the new high-speed network by the beginning of next semester.