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Connect the Classroom update: Wi-Fi for schools

Posted by Daniel Fuller-Smith on 09/11 at 10:00 AM Education, Wi-Fi, Internet connectivity,
Connect the Classroom update Wi-Fi for schools

Back in July, we alerted schools to the funding available from the Department of Education (DfE) to upgrade their Wi-Fi solutions. Since then, we have been busy undertaking site surveys and installations to transform the connectivity provided in schools, with the application deadline for wave one of the scheme coming up this Friday.

The stipulations of the funding are quite strict. The DfE is looking for quality, robust solutions that will last schools for many years to come to make the work required to deliver some of these new wireless networks worthwhile.

In one school, we have had to replace the cabinets and cabling that made up its entire local area network (LAN) to achieve the minimum high connectivity speeds required to meet the criteria for the funding. Then we can install the wireless access points onto the LAN.

The Connect the Classroom scheme is not just a case of adding a few more access points here and there. Schools are being fitted out with state-of-the-art Wi-Fi solutions to provide rich educational experiences for students using mobile devices, such as laptops and tablets.

Access points need to be Wi-Fi 6 standard, which is the latest iteration of the Wi-Fi network protocol and is also known as 802.11ax. It is substantially better than its predecessor in terms of speed, coverage and device density capacity. It means students and staff will benefit from an improved experience.

We have been working with Aruba, Cisco Meraki and Hewlett Packard to supply these solutions as their devices meet the criteria in terms of the Wi-Fi 6 standard and length of warranty.

Not all schools have been contacted regarding the Connect the Classroom the funding, but we are led to believe more schools will be offered it in the future. We are already on wave three.

If you received the DfE email and want to book a site survey with us, then please send us your details to education@swcomms.co.uk. I can work with you to submit your application and make sure it meets the funding criteria. If you need some last-minute help before wave one’s deadline on Friday, give me a shout and we can see what we can do!

We have 38 years of working with schools. Our networking experts and DBS-checked engineers are delighted to be involved in the Connect the Classroom rollout as we reach at the end of wave one. Schools are finally getting the Wi-Fi they need.

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Daniel Fuller-Smith's avatar
Daniel Fuller-Smith on 09/11/2021

Daniel is one of our senior Account managers, based in our Portchester office, near Portsmouth, covering the south and south east of the UK.

Daniel has had a long relationship with the business as he managed Toshiba’s EMEA division and when Toshiba exited the comms market in 2016, Toshiba engaged with swcomms to help continue to support their base and he joined us shortly afterwards. He has since embellished his skills and knowledge to encompass our entire telephony and data portfolio.

In his spare time, Daniel is the manager of a County League U18s team at Upper Beeding FC. Daniel has twice been recognised by Sussex FA in the FA National Awards’ Grassroots Volunteer of the Year category in 2013 and 2016.

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Contact: Daniel.Fuller-smith@swcomms.co.uk

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