CA District Uses New Technology to Move into Digital Era of Education

Comcast Corporation today announced that Folsom Cordova Unified School District (FCUSD) upgraded its network infrastructure connecting 21 of its facilities with a 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) Comcast Business Class Ethernet service.

Prior to Comcast, FCUSD connected its schools using a network of T1 lines offering limited capacity of 1.5 Megabits per second (Mbps), too slow to effectively support the voice, video and data needs of each school or allow teachers to augment their curriculum with online resources. With the 1 Gbps Ethernet service from Comcast, students, teachers and administrators have a network platform to support operational data and help teachers expand learning opportunities through online resources, educational tools and applications. Previously, video content had to be downloaded from each server, making it cumbersome to use in the classroom. With a more robust network, students and teachers can take advantage of on-demand digital video solutions, enabling advanced video conferencing and video streaming applications and improving the district’s distance learning initiatives.

“We firmly believe technology can have a positive impact on the way students learn and we’re always looking for ways to implement more online resources and tools into our curriculum,” said Joe Jenkins, chief technology officer, Folsom Cordova School District. “We needed a network that could support this type of online environment and the bandwidth-intensive applications we use to help students learn. Comcast Business Class Ethernet not only gives us the speed we need now, but is scalable to support us well into the future.”

The Ethernet service also provides operational benefits for the district. Better network throughput allows the IT team to centralize 70 percent of the district’s data, improving transmission speeds and data access by teachers, administrators and staff. The network upgrade also facilitated a centralized data management strategy and afforded improvements in disaster planning via off-site data backup applications. With the new off-site data recovery plan, FCUSD was able to replace a tape backup system, thereby cutting the time necessary to securely backup its entire 31 facilities by 50 percent.

Compounding the district’s IT problem was the fact that reduced funding levels challenged the IT staff to maximize their available resources. Comcast was able to deploy a robust network designed for FCUSD, while working within the budgetary framework established by the district, E-Rate and the California Teleconnect Fund.