Pennsylvania School District Delivers Powerful Education Resources with 3com Network

Article excerpt

When school bells rang this fall Tredyffrin/Easttown School District in suburban Philadelphia became one of a small number of school districts providing its students with the powerful educational benefits of a high performance asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) network.

The new network, supplied by 3Com Corp. (Santa Clara, CA), gives the district's 4,500 students very fast access (155 or 622 Mbps) to online educational resources, interactive video and multimedia, while allowing the exchange of ideas and information with teachers and other students throughout the world. "With the ATM network, we can open the classroom doors and bring in a wealth of educational resources that students enjoy using," says Emil Capetola, the school district's business manager.

Meeting Academic and Technical Challenges

When the school district began investigating ways to offer students easy access to online education resources and the World Wide Web, it also looked for a network that would enhance communications among teachers as well as administrative and operational personnel to facilitate record-keeping and business processes. Meeting those varied needs required an advanced network that could transparently link users in 11 buildings distributed over several towns. The network had to enable students and faculty members to access online resources from anywhere in the district and had to be free from performance bottlenecks, regardless of traffic volumes. The network further had to be scaleable, manageable, reliable and to use -- even for elementary school students.

The school district chose the 3Com ATM solution because it offered the most advanced performance and" features at a competitive cost. The 3Com CoreBuilder 7000 and SuperStack II switches, for example enable the district to implement enterprise-wide virtual local area networks for more efficient segmentation of users and greater security.

New Possibilities with Network

"Tredyffrin skipped the widely used Ethernet generation and invested in a technology that will take the students and teachers into the future of learning," says. David Katz, 3Com global education manager. "Their network seamlessly integrates voice and video traffic, allowing sophisticated communications and learning tools to be delivered directly to the classroom. …