Seattle schools to build wide-area fiber net

Fujitsu-built network will cover 200 miles, serve 10 high schools, nine middle schools and 70 elementary schools.

Seattle schools will soon be the most wired in the nation, reports Telecommunications Online. Fujitsu Network Communications has partnered with the Seattle school system to build an enhanced fiber network interconnect that covers about 200 miles, serving 10 high schools with gigabit Ethernet connections; nine middle schools with 300 megabits; and eventually 70 elementary schools with 100 megabits each.

"We're still in process. We aren't expecting to complete this project for another two years," said Dugal Easton, manager of network systems at the Seattle Public School System.

The five-year plan is to break even after switching from leased line connections.

Those numbers were hard to swallow for the school board. They became convinced after a comparison between the complicated management of tying the current system together and "what it could be by converging the network into one piece," Easton said. "This is the core part of a large technology development that's happened over the last 10 years."

"It was just a matter of opening the school board's eyes," said Easton. "This started with the idea of convergence."

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