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Education Networking News

Report Says Schools Need 100Mbps Per 1,000 Users 292

Posted by samzenpus
from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children dept.
alphadogg writes "American schools need mega-broadband networks — and they need them soon, a new report says. Specifically, U.S. educational institutions will need networks that deliver broadband performance of 100Mbps for every 1,000 students and staff members in time for the 2014-15 school year. That's the conclusion reached by the State Educational Technology Directors Association. Why the need for speed? For one thing, more and more schools are using online textbooks and collaboration tools, said Christine Fox, director of educational leadership and research at SETDA. Broadband access must be 'ubiquitous' and 'robust,' she said, adding that schools should think of broadband as a 'necessary utility,' not as an add-on. The report, called 'The Broadband Imperative,' further suggests that schools should upgrade their networks to support speeds of 1Gbps per 1,000 users in five years."
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Report Says Schools Need 100Mbps Per 1,000 Users

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  • Depends on Controls (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dakiraun (1633747) <> on Monday June 04, 2012 @01:35PM (#40210839) Homepage

    Speaking as a Network admin at a major university, the amount of bandwidth-per-user really depends on the levels of control the school is allowed (or willing) to apply to the user's Network usage.

    For example, in our residences, students are told they have unfiltered access to the Internet, as in, they are allowed to use any software they wish. The only stated restrictions are overall bandwidth related on a per-day basis. Behind the scenes, a we use packet shaping hardware to limit the total amount of per-user bandwidth usable for such things as P2P or VoIP (to prevent super-nodes) but otherwise leave it alone. In this model, 100Mbps per 1000 students is inadequate, but only just barely. We currently have it at approximately 120Mbps per 1000 students.

    Under tighter control circumstances, where P2P is disabled and/or other controls, caps, and so on are enacted, you can likely get away with less bandwidth. Other networks we distribute have such tighter controls, and allow us to dial the number down further to around 70Mbps per 1000 students (without any web censorship).

  • Re: Moar (Score:4, Informative)

    by skids (119237) on Monday June 04, 2012 @01:40PM (#40210897) Homepage

    Do they have any idea what the price is for that kind of Internet connection?

    When you get up to buying a gig, not as much /Mbps as the smaller allotments. But you are right, that would be a stretch for most institutions, mainly because their routers/firewalls/content-filtering/etc is not sized for the number of connections/pps that such a pipe would support. They'd be looking at a full re-buy and reprovisioning of their entire gateway path.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2012 @01:47PM (#40210995)

    As a visitor to the US (from Canada eh!) I think you are wasting your money.

    Your kids can not spell, can not do basic math, can barely print their own names.

    Your high school graduates are functionally illiterate: most can not spell well enough to use an online dictionary.

    Your educational system is fundamentally broken, and nobody is addressing it.

    If ignorance is bliss, you have the happiest students in the developed world.

  • Re:Caching? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 04, 2012 @01:48PM (#40211021)

    The ability to update textbooks on the fly presents an opportunity for too much bias to enter into them.

    Last years updating crew really didn't like president X, and while they are professional enough to not write up a case study on libel, it's easy to see a bit of a slant one way or another.... only to be swung back the following year when a new editing crew comes on-board, and they really like president X, but hate president Y.

    Not to mention things that haven't entirely come to light. Should American history books include info about Stuxnet/Flame and our alleged involvement? Would anything have to be redacted a few years down the road? Keep textbooks on a 5+ year schedule at LEAST, so that enough time and peer review can be undergone for everything to be fully vetted by professionals. And that's just for Social Studies or other subject that are prone to change. How often do we really need to update our math books? Unless Euclid of Alexandria plans to rise from his grave and revise his (in)famous proof... I think we can keep Algebra course books static year in and year out.

  • How the schools work (Score:5, Informative)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <{jmorris} {at} {}> on Monday June 04, 2012 @03:16PM (#40212179)

    > why would the school not upload to you tube?

    You obviously know nothing about the way schools work. There is an entire industry devoted to reinventing every wheel for educational use. Some of it makes some sense, schools have a lot of mandates for privacy and so on, but most of it is simply because. YouTube would be right out, a contract with an edu specific video hosting site would be required, and it would of course require a hefty annual contract with each school system. Each school would have to get a customized portal with the school logo, colors and such or it is a no sale. Access controls are a must. You can't put a picture that includes a student on a school's public facing website without moving a lot of paper for clearances.... meanwhile the local paper's website has the same photo from the game up that day and the kids themselves post everything onto their facebook pages in realtime. And it simply must be this way, the idea that it could be different could never occur. If nothing else, schools simply wouldn't be able to handle the concept of a vendor that doesn't charge.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.