Debate Over Wireless Standard Uptake In Schools

Jun 26, 2014

ICT solutions provider Stone Group has claimed its customers in the education sector are adopting the new 802.11ac wireless standard, despite claims that general uptake in is slow.

Recently, research firm Gartner claimed that only 8.9% of all new deployments will be based on the standard, but Stone claims otherwise.

According to the IT company, English schools are opting for the new standard rather than the old – adding one in four of its deployments uses the new standard.

Stone pointed to one of its recent contracts with Twickenham’s Orleans Park School which is now using a Cisco Meraki 802.11ac network.

The firm claims this allows both teachers and students to connect their own as well as the school’s devices to its Internet connection provided by the London Grid for Learning (LGfL).

Stone says it has given the education institution 30 access points across 70 rooms and 16 acres, including outdoors areas like the playing fields.

“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 course materials, learning aids and engage with teachers via the network,” claimed Orleans Park senior IT technician Peter Richardson.

“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,” he added.

Benefits “Not Possible” Without 802.11ac

Richardson claims that the fast Internet and the benefits the new system holds for students and staff alike could not have been achieved without the 802.11ac wireless standard.

“[The standard] is remarkably quick wi-fi and has the gigabit Ethernet backup to be able to cope well with lots of data changing hands between students and the Internet,” claimed Stone chief executive, Simon Harbridge.

He added that he believes schools are starting to see 802.11ac as “essential” and that his company are seeing a “sharp upswing” in interest.




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