School gets super-fast Wi-Fi

Schools are bypassing old Wi-Fi technology and refreshing their estate to include the new 802.11ac standard

Despite a recent Gartner report concluding that just 8.9% of wireless deployments in 2014 will be 802.11ac, one in four Stone Group customers is choosing the standard for new deployments.

802.11ac is a faster and more scalable version of 802.11n and couples the freedom of wireless with the capabilities of Gigabit Ethernet. With faster download speeds and better network security, 802.11ac is popular with Stone’s education customers looking to improve their digital teaching capabilities before the new curriculum of September 2014.

Orleans Park, a thriving and successful secondary school in Twickenham, Middlesex, has begun using a Cisco Meraki 802.11ac wireless network this month following site consultation and installation from Stone Group.

With no previous wireless network to upgrade, Orleans Park has added the Wi-Fi network to allow students and teachers to connect their own, and the school’s devices to the web via its secure London Grid for Learning ISP. Just 30 MR34 access points cover the 70 room, 16 acre site, including outdoor areas such as playing fields, where teachers are now able to take the register and sync-up with the Orleans Park Capita SIMS database. 

“This is our first Wi-Fi network and comes at a crucial time for us. Our Sixth-Form centre opens in September, and new students will be able to access their course materials, learning aids and engage with their teachers via the network,” said Peter Richardson, Senior IT Technician at Orleans Park.

“It’s incredibly fast, downloads files in seconds, and students can use their WEP keys to sign in. Learning is no longer classroom based here now, it can be anywhere on site, with no awkward bandwidth downtime.”