Schools and Local Government Networks
KBR provide external and internal wireless technologies with great success to schools, LEAs and Local Government. During 2009 we have successfully installed one of the UK’s largest internal wireless enterprise deployments of its type to over 200 sites. The KBR wireless team has all the skills and expertise to provide the best networks available in the UK suitable for our customers’ needs.
We design our enterprise internal wireless solutions to provide true mobility to LEAs and Councils by creating a county wide SSID within schools and local authorities. This SSID allows all staff to connect using RADIUS authentication and achieve full visibility of their network placing them on the same VLAN and DHCP range as if they were sitting at their desk.
We are Master resellers for Trapeze Networks, one of the World’s leading manufacturers, and have more certified Trapeze wireless specialists than any other reseller in the UK.
Our external wireless connectivity solutions have also benefited schools for over 10 years, providing LEAs and Councils considerable returns on investment when compared to leased line alternatives, whilst also providing pupils and teachers high-speed network connectivity.
KBR Install Trapeze Internal Wireless Networks in Every School in Northumberland County
Northumberland County Council prides itself on the range and breadth of services it delivers to the 300,000 people throughout England’s most northerly shire which covers a large area from the Tyne and Wear conurbation to the Scottish Border.
Now leading the way in delivering the Next Generation Broadband Infrastructure which places the county at the forefront of e-commerce in the North East and beyond, Northumberland County Council developed the Northumberland Open Network in 2006 with Single Programme funding from the Northumberland Strategic Partnership.
When Northumberland County Council wished to extend its Wireless Networking Initiative to give over 40,000 children in the County access to mobile working it turned to its trusted partner KBR IT & Networking Solutions Limited (KBR).
Based in County Durham, KBR had introduced wireless networks to the Council having installed 21 Trapeze access points at County Hall in Morpeth in 2006. Due to the successful uptake of this technology at Northumberland County Council’s head office, KBR was then asked to supply internal wireless networks to 16 buildings, many of which were schools, over the next 18 months.
By August 2008 Northumberland County Council had decided that wireless was the way to meet the needs of their staff, schools and students and KBR responded to a tender to provide full internal wireless coverage to every school in the County.
The mammoth task was closely project managed by the expert KBR team whose project planning and implementation included site surveying, asbestos avoidance approval, health and safety approvals, access point installation and controller configuration and testing.
Gareth Tomlin, Technical Director at KBR explains: “We deployed the Trapeze wireless technology into 15 High Schools, 35 Middle Schools and 130 First Schools across the County. We worked closely with Council staff to ensure that there was no disruption to their academic schedules and that each wireless installation would fully meet their wide-ranging requirements. In some of the smaller schools just 2 access points were required while in the larger high schools we installed up to 124 access points.”
“In 20 years of working in the IT department of Northumberland County Council I have never witnessed a project implemented so smoothly as the Trapeze all schools internal wireless project. To do the full rollout as planned, into 180 schools in 192 days was an excellent achievement by all concerned with the deployment strategy”
Frank Freeman (North-Net Project Manager)
In additional to the provision of wireless access throughout the County’s schools, the wireless network infrastructure also provides improved communication systems for teachers who can now manage the Curriculum, Personalised Learning Agendas and their administration 24 x 7.
Additionally, field-based staff now have the opportunity to access their email and personal applications with their usual login process wherever they are in the County. Every single school in Northumberland now provides access to a single County Council Service Set Identifier (SSID) in addition to the SSIDs they have configured to their own wireless LAN.
This Council SSID is accessible across the County from any school and securely tunnels the user back to the main County Hall site in Morpeth where they are connected to the LAN and provided with their usual shared resources. This has meant that County Council staff travel less to obtain a secure network connection to the County network which increases their productivity and helps address the Council’s green agenda.
KBR has now provided Northumberland County Council with enhanced system access for both teachers and pupils on a fully remotely manageable, secure and controlled wireless network infrastructure across the County. KBR has also installed a Trapeze Mobility Solution, which provides multi-site roaming capabilities and controlled guest and public access without any compromise to the integrity of the extensive network.
Richard Taylor, ICT & eLearning Advisor, Children’s Services Directorate, Northumberland County Council said: “Our schools can range from 2 to 2,000 pupils and we work with 40,000 children from infants to sixth formers. We required a comprehensive, managed enterprise wireless network capable of meeting our specification for a large number of devices in schools. It’s the future of education - one device per pupil - and we’ve already seen real growth in the number of netbooks, laptops and PDAs being used in schools. We work to Personalised Learning Agendas where all pupils can access their learning 24x7 and teachers can log on when in the staffroom or when out and about.”
He continued: “KBR provided the ideal solution for us with a balanced roll-out and their accommodating team has worked hard to deliver an extensive wireless network solution, with many efficiencies. We’re delighted that the Trapeze Networks infrastructure is intelligent enough to allow secure, resilient mobile working for Council staff, teachers and children of all ages County-wide.”
To support Northumberland County Council’s Wireless Networking Initiative and provide full internal wireless coverage to every school in Northumberland.
Over 3,000 Trapeze Networks’ access points were installed in 180 schools in 192 days with one school commissioned every 1.06 days.
Over 40,000 children and staff at schools throughout Northumberland now have wireless access.
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