Columbia Public Schools standardizes on Ruckus for gigabit WiFi in Nation first district

Ruckus Wireless has announced that it has been selected by Columbia Public Schools to supply next generation Ruckus Smart WiFi products and technology. This isthe nation’s first production deployment of Gigabit class WiFiusing the industry’s newest 802.11ac Wave 2 specification access point (AP).Other schools making the move to Ruckus Wave 2 Gigabit WiFi include Shelby County Schools (TN), Pitt County Schools (NC), and Vancouver Public Schools (WA).

Covering 300 square miles between St. Louis and Kansas City, Columbia Public Schools (CPS) is deploying more than 1,400 Ruckus ZoneFlexR710 802.11ac Wave 2 APs. These access points are managed through a cluster of Ruckus SmartZone 100 controllers to serve over 18,000 students and staff, and nearly 20,000 WiFi-enabled devices across more than 30 K-12 schools.

“The move to Gigabit WiFi services reflects the broader requirement for educational institutions across the country to deliver much more wireless capacity,”said Dan Rabinovitsj, chief operating officer of Ruckus Wireless. “This demand for capacity isbeing fueled by the need for wireless bandwidth in and out of the classroom, along with the influx of increasingly powerful smart mobile devices being used to access media-rich content and online digital curriculum.The Ruckus ZoneFlex R710 is simply the best performing and industry’s only shipping access point capable of delivering Gigabit WiFi services.”

According to IDC, there has been a shift in the verticals that fuel the majority of the WLAN market growth, with Education continuing to be one of the strongest, as increasing mobility requirements in schools require higher-speed and more robust wireless networks. IDC expects 802.11ac APs will primarily be deployed to replace 802.11n equipment, representing 73.3 percent of all pendent APs shipped by 2017.

“Fast and reliable WiFi access in now simply an imperative for delivering a 21st century education,” said Christine Diggs, director of Technology Services for Columbia Public Schools. “The fact of the matter is that outside of the classroom, technology is such an important part of everyone’s lives that it must be seamlessly integrated into the educational environment and process.“

Diggs added, “Our move to a complete district-wide Gigabit-class infrastructure gives us the power to address future requirements, many of which are hard to even anticipate. This move increases our ability to support more users at any given time and extends the life of our infrastructure over a much longer period.”

With a unique mix of urban, rural and suburban students, Columbia Public Schoolshad stringent requirements to support much higher client densities at higher speeds—demands that its legacy HPWiFi infrastructure was unable tomeet.According to school officials, the amount of man-hours required to keep the wireless network up and running was “staggering” butthat‘s now been eliminated with their new Ruckus Smart WiFi infrastructure.


The CPS WiFi infrastructure is used to support a range of applications and services, such as teacher evaluations, in-class collaboration, guest access, student information systems, Apple Air Servers, Google Apps, scientific simulations, video streaming and IP-based security cameras.


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