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AT&T Helps School District Meet Bandwidth Surge for K-12 Common Core State Standards

Rapid Shift to Online Test Taking Drives Demand for Additional Broadband Services

Dallas, Texas, June 24, 2013

States and K-12 school districts are turning to AT&T for networking services like Ethernet to increase bandwidth speed in preparation for statewide online assessments associated with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), an initiative to standardize math and English curricula by the 2014-2015 school year

With the use of technology increasing dramatically in classrooms as a result of mobile learning programs, 80 percent of school districts report that their broadband connections don’t fully meet their current needs, according to an FCC report, “Measuring Broadband America.”  In many states, students will soon be required to take end-of-year tests through online portals, potentially putting a strain on school’s internet capacity.

To help schools and school districts improve their broadband speeds and meet the increase in demand for bandwidth, AT&T is delivering  secure, scalable networking services such as Switched Ethernet and Managed Internet Services. Ethernet provides a solid foundation that supports today’s voice, video, data and communications applications but is flexible enough to accommodate learning technologies to meet tomorrow's demands.

According to the State Education Technology Directors Association, schools will need Wide Area Network connections of 1 Gbps per 1,000 students and staff by 2014-15. With the help of AT&T, many schools are preparing now for the future demand:

·         Bartow County (GA) Schools is upgrading its existing Metro Ethernet to attain speeds of 1-2 Gbps at each school and 5 Gbps in its central office to create a 21st century technology program for its students. With an end-goal of fostering collaborative learning, the district is rolling out a mobile learning program right now, powered by AT&T’s Metro Ethernet, that will also meet Common Core State Standards requirements next year.

·         Caddo Parish (LA) Schools is installing AT&T’s Switched Ethernet service in anticipation of more mobile devices on its network and state testing assessments. Caddo is upgrading with AT&T to Ethernet bandwidth ranging from 10 Mbps - 1 Gbps at school sites. The district is also piloting a technology initiative that will make internet and online resources an integral part of the instructional process. The pilot includes a “Bring Your Own Device” program for students in high schools, which has necessitated more bandwidth and a higher concentration of wireless access points.

·         Cleveland County (NC) Schools is upgrading its infrastructure to AT&T’s Switched Ethernet service in order to increase the number of wireless access points and bandwidth to support online testing. As a result, the school district will be moving to online textbooks and anticipates that students will be able to connect with teachers through video conferencing when they are out sick in the near future.

·         Cullman County (AL) Schools is moving towards a 1:1 mobile learning model and turned to AT&T to upgrade its bandwidth for all schools. The school district’s goal is to give educators the tools they need to implement individualized learning programs in the classroom. And so far, teachers are praising the district for the upgrade.

·         Sacramento City (CA) Unified School District has a high population of economically disadvantaged students, but despite budget constraints is upgrading its circuits to a new 100 Mbps Ethernet OPT-E-MAN service from AT&T, including 64 high-speed data lines. This will give teachers the opportunity to include digital learning in their curricula and comply with digital learning mandates that are on the horizon.

·         Wayne (MI) Regional Educational Service Agency provides a wide range of services to support schools in the Wayne County School District, where bandwidth has skyrocketed due to online testing, BYOD policies, digital textbooks and 1:1 learning programs. To satisfy demand, Wayne RESA is working with AT&T to upgrade its capabilities by 1,000 percent – expanding to 20 Gbps. The new bandwidth will ensure that educators and students can take advantage of a “Next Generation” e-learning approach.

“Technology is reshaping the 21st century classroom, from tablets and smartphones to online testing and videoconferencing,” said John Irwin, AT&T Senior Vice-President of Government, Education and Healthcare. “Having a strong network infrastructure, backed by one of the world’s most advanced and powerful global networks, is essential to successfully supporting the future of educational technology.”

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