Schools in Longmont recently began working with Longmont Power and Communications (LPC) to increase bandwidth, save money, and begin implementing a new technology plan. As part of the plan, every middle school student in Longmont was assigned an iPad mini this school year.
Jon Rice from the Longmont Compass alerted us to the program that takes advantage of the new 10 Gig wide area network. LPC installed the WAN this summer for the St. Vrain Valley School District. The network has a 20 Gbps ring and each school has an active 10 Gbps link with a second 10 Gbps ring for redundancy. The district's Chief Information Officer, Joe McBreen summed up the situation:
“We really needed to give ourselves some breathing room,” he said. The new LPC “pipe,” he said, gave St. Vrain 10 times the bandwidth while saving $100,000 a year and allowing teaching and learning to be exponentially improved.
According to McBreen, bandwidth demands used to take up 80 - 90 percent of the district's bandwidth, but now only requires 5 percent on a typical day, even with the new devices.
Not long ago, LPC announced a new $49.95 per month gigabit service for residents and businesses. If customers sign up early, LPC guarantees the price for an extended period. The price remains the same at that residence, regardless of who owns the home. LPC expects to finish its current expansion work in 2017.
In the short video below, School Board Member Paula Peairs notes that the district's savings on connectivity costs allows them to direct more funds to devices, staff training, and classes for students.
"The fact that the City has established that and built us the infrastructure to apply it is enormous. We have a community that supports that and really puts us in a unique position."
Matt Scheppers, Electrical Operations Manager at LPC, said of the utility's new service to the school:
"We are really excited to see what they do with it and we are going to accommodate them in the future; if they need more speed we will be able to provide that too. We're real excited about that opportunity."