DCPS Projects – 1999

With the schools all wired and connected, it is time to take the district to the next level in wide-area networking. On January 21, 1999, we demonstrated a very rudimentary example of one of the capabilities of our high-speed fiber based wide-area network, a video conference. The equipment we are using to create the videoconference existed in the district before we had wide area fiber connections at any of the schools. We used 2 233mhz computers with video capture cards that were previously used to create the slide shows that ran on Channel 54 for 9 months. These computers didn’t have any of the special video or audio compression cards normally used to send video over a network. The equipment used to “light up” the fiber for this pilot project was all purchased this year from money set aside for wide area network maintenance and upgrades.

With the schools all wired and connected, it is time to take the district to the next level in wide-area networking. On January 21, 1999, we demonstrated a very rudimentary example of one of the capabilities of our high-speed fiber based wide-area network, a video conference. The equipment we are using to create the videoconference existed in the district before we had wide area fiber connections at any of the schools. We used 2 233mhz computers with video capture cards that were previously used to create the slide shows that ran on Channel 54 for 9 months. These computers didn’t have any of the special video or audio compression cards normally used to send video over a network. The equipment used to “light up” the fiber for this pilot project was all purchased this year from money set aside for wide area network maintenance and upgrades.

The fiber is being provided by Century Communications. They’ve done an excellent job of building a robust fiber network using a “dual ring” topology. This means if there is a break anywhere on the ring, network traffic is rerouted the other direction, keeping the network operating. Since the district owns all the equipment that lights up the fiber, in the future, as new technology becomes available and affordable we can upgrade the network, still utilizing the excellent fiber infrastructure Century provides.

We currently have Daviess County High, Apollo and Audubon connected to the fiber, Century will be making the necessary connections soon to bring the Burns / Maintenance / Transportation complex online. Next a couple of technicians from my team will be pulling a cable inside Country Heights that will allow us to connect them as well. The Audubon & Country Heights connections will immediately save the district over $300/ month. We will then start replacing all our WAN connections in the Century Cable service area. When we’re done, we expect to have every school except Whitesville and West Louisville connection to the 100 megabit backbone. Along with all the data connections, we will also be moving our channel 54 distribution equipment to the central office, giving us greater flexibility in the content shown on 54.

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