?

Hawaii Department of Education Upgrades Slow and Unreliable WAN

Standardized enterprise-grade hardware jumps Internet speeds from 300 Mbps to 8 Gbps.

Overview

The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) oversees more than 260 public schools across six islands and supports approximately 185,000 students. Most schools were using outdated consumer-grade wireless routers and suffering from low reliability of internet services over their WAN. WWT worked with the Office of Information Technology Services (OITS), responsible for developing technology at the DOE, to implement campus-wide Wi-Fi as part of a converged infrastructure initiative.

Challenge

The Hawaii DOE had poor Internet reliability across their many locations. Prior to this initiative, most schools were using consumer-grade routers, such as Linksys or end-of-life Cisco 3925s. The schools did not have the in-house expertise to properly manage and update the equipment. Servers were housed in corners of classrooms with wires hanging from ceilings, as what some would call, “cable spaghetti.”

Not only was the old infrastructure setup unsightly, it was slow and unreliable. Students’ test scores were suffering due to slow Internet speeds around 300 Mbps. There were instances of third graders waiting 45 seconds between questions when taking online tests. Ultimately, schools were unable to utilize online tools available to them.

Solution

After working with WWT on the campus Wi-Fi solution, Internet speeds at the edge jumped from 300 Mbps to 8 Gbps. An IWAN deployment saw speeds further increase between 20 and 30 Gbps. In addition to IWAN and Wi-Fi, the implementation of Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) allows IT administrators to see all users on the network.

As part of the equipment upgrade, WWT standardized hardware across all 260 schools for consistency and easier maintenance.