Exeter updating a failing system

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Wireless access points improved for 2020-2021 school year

While students are out for the wellness break, the Exeter school district began moving forward on updating a system that has shown moments of failure over the last year.

Ernest Raney, Exeter superintendent, said the wireless application protocol (WAP’s) allow the district to connect to the internet with wireless devices.

“The current system is failing and needs to be replaced,” he said. “With a higher and higher rate on technology being used, we must provide a high-quality connection.”

This new system will do the same thing as the current one, but with upgraded equipment.

“With technology, you have to keep everything current and operational,” Raney said. “Over the last school year, we had some interruptions, so we knew it was time to replace the equipment.”

The district went with Ubiquiti UniFi access points.

“We get an 85 percent discount through Erate, which is funded through FCC, so the 15 percent portions that the district paid for is $2,887,” he said. “There are six switches and 50 access points, which is the same number as before.”

The 3Com switch the district is currently using is significantly out of date.

“There is no support of that, so we went with 4848 port switches on the upgrade,” he said. “Again, we are simply replacing the equipment to allow reliability.”

The last time the switches needed replacing was nearly 12 years ago.

“We purchased the equipment through CDW, which we have used previously when we purchased Chromebooks,” Raney said. “Now that 100 percent of our students use Chromebooks for access to learning, we need a network that is reliable and up to date.”

In other news, the district received confirmation on March 23 that it will be awarded the $40,000 Volkswagen Trust Grant for the purchase of a new bus.

The district decided to move forward and purchase the bus in February before confirmation that it would receive the grant money.

The bus delivery has also been delayed, but Raney is expecting it to arrive by the end of May.

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