Illinois High School District 214 Selects Comcast Metro Ethernet Services to Deliver Cloud Computing, Virtualization and Web-based Educational Tools
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services, today announced that Township High School District 214, the second largest high school district in Illinois, is using Comcast Metro Ethernet services to deliver cloud computing, virtualization and streaming video in the classroom as well as other data, voice and video services that support more than 12,000 high school students across eight communities in northern Illinois.
District 214 implements a number of innovative technology programs that use resources more effectively, enhance teaching tools and reduce costs. These programs require a high-performance network to support more than 6,200 computers, 1,300 VoIP phones, 850 iPads, 225 IP cameras and 400 wireless access points. One innovative example is the district's use of IlliniCloud, a cloud-based, statewide IT network built by Illinois school districts, for the backup of finance, payroll, human resources, and student information. Comcast's Metro Ethernet provides the capacity and bandwidth necessary to connect to IlliniCloud for 24/7 access and storage of this critical data.
"We believe the future is in cloud computing and virtualization is the first step to bringing the district to a completely cloud-based environment," said Keith Bockwoldt, Director of Technology at District 214. "Kids today are growing up in a digital world, and we want to prepare our students, educators and community for the future. Comcast's Metro Ethernet gives us the capacity and bandwidth to deliver cloud, virtualization, streaming video and other bandwidth-intensive systems to better serve our students and help keep us on budget."
District 214's server virtualization project has significantly reduced hardware and energy costs. Connected by a Comcast Metro Ethernet backbone, the virtualized servers have saved the district more than $330,000 in hardware replacements and $45,000 in reduced energy costs. The virtualized environment also has lowered carbon emissions. In addition, the district's HVAC systems are now monitored and controlled from a central location across its Comcast wide area network, increasing efficiency in HVAC management.
Also, District 214 is using streaming video services and hosted applications to deliver additional curriculum to classrooms and desktop computers. Plus, under a recently-launched pilot project, 850 students will receive iPads, which will reduce the cost of physical textbooks and software licenses, and facilitate information sharing both in school and at home.
For upcoming projects, District 214 is exploring an inter-district videoconferencing system for office meetings, which would increase efficiency and reduce travel time and mileage reimbursement expenses. The district also has moved to online enrollment for all incoming freshmen, and started a pilot healthcare program that allows participating students to interact with hospitals and other medical professionals using videoconferencing and laptop computers.
"District 214 is a prime example of how schools can use Comcast's Metro Ethernet to take advantage of cloud, virtualization and multimedia programs to improve the educational experience, improve efficiency and manage costs," said Bill Stemper, President of Comcast Business Services. "The district's success shows us that these programs are not only applicable to the corporate world, as District 214 has achieved specific, measureable results from their innovative use of technology."
District 214 is recognized by the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association as a Top Ten Technology School District in the nation. It has also received the 2010 Lincoln Bronze Award from the Illinois-based Lincoln Foundation for "Commitment to Excellence" for its efforts in continuous improvement.
About District 214
A nationally recognized Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence District, Township High School District 214 is located 25 miles northwest of downtown Chicago and serves approximately 280,000 residents in a culturally and economically diverse suburban community. Larger in area than the city of St. Louis, District 214 serves eight communities.
Comprised of six high schools and three alternative programs, District 214 is the second largest high school district in Illinois with total enrollment of more than 12,000 students. It is ranked in the top 4% in the state for academic performance. Each school has earned an outstanding reputation for providing varied options for each student's academic achievement with specialized programs for students with special needs.
About Comcast Business Services
Comcast Business Services, a unit of Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), provides advanced communication solutions to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. Through a modern, company-owned advanced network that is backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcast delivers Business Class Internet, TV and Voice services for cost-effective, simplified communications management.
Launched in 2011, the Comcast Business Class Ethernet suite offers high-performance point-to-point and multi-point Metro Ethernet services with the capacity to deliver cloud computing, software-as-a-service, business continuity/disaster recovery and other bandwidth-intensive applications. Comcast Metro Ethernet services are significantly faster than T1 lines and other legacy technologies, providing scalable bandwidth from 1 Mbps up to 10 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) in more than 20 major US markets.
For more information, call 1-866-429-3085 or visit www.business.comcast.com