K12 Fiber WAN Design Rules and Considerations

1- Any infrastructure that supports essential services needs to provide carrier class reliability, therefore a school network needs to have carrier class reliability.
2- Only the very biggest districts should consider dark fiber (Clark County, NV-greater than 300 schools).
3- Any provider of fiber dark or lit fiber must be able to provide 24 hr/day help desk and field support.
4- The District must be capable of building and maintaining its own help desk for say 6AM to 8 PM 6 days a week and have escalatable support available for all of its network connectivity and equipment 24/7.
5- The District Architecture must be a flat IP network and structured so that applications such as voice can travel between network nodes (schools) on the network and to the PSTN over controlled interfaces. Internet Access should be over redundant feeds from two locations.
6- Clark County was able to develop the organizational infrastructure to support its network, and to contract for the outside support. This is a fundamental issue.
7- For a much smaller district like Oswego308 , IL Comcast Cable was able to supply and install and support the fiber, WAN Network Equipment and Internet Connectivity in a way that was most cost efficient. This network had about 16 locations.
8- In any case, whether supplied by Carriers, not carriers, lit or dark, the WAN and LAN equipment must be separated at every school. So if it is lit fiber, the provider supports the Edge Device and the fiber, the district supplies the main LAN/Router Switch and so forth.
9- Data Rates: 1 Gb on a Ring with central feeds 10 Gb; Spoke feeds to Elementary Schools of 100 KHz were generally OK, but as I read the National Broadband Plan 1 Gb is required for all governemnt buildings.


Technologist and Project Manager

Leave a Reply

Close Menu