Supplying high quality broadband can be a challenge in many regions of our state, especially in rural areas. In many cases, the lack of available wireless or fiber poses numerous challenges to those who are trying to implement technology for student-centered learning.
Ash Grove is a rural community with a population of 1,430 and is located about 20 miles northwest of Springfield. Although the proximity to Missouri’s third largest city provides employment opportunities, shopping and DSL Internet, there were major challenges getting the broadband needed to facilitate online testing for the school’s sprawling campus which includes two elementary schools and one high school.
To facilitate the required statewide online testing in spring 2015, students from one of the elementary schools would have to be bussed to the Ash Grove High School at a significant cost to the district in money, time and disruption. According to the district’s superintendent, Kyle Collins, "We didn’t know what to do, but we were sure if anyone could help, it would be MOREnet."
After studying the terrain and infrastructure, our networking experts determined that the most cost effective option was utilizing MOREnet’s Wireless MAN Service to link two buildings that are approximately 8 miles apart via a private LAN, thus eliminating the need to transport the students.
In addition to saving the bussing costs, the connection via a wireless solution also enabled increased bandwidth for the elementary school, which allowed them to stay in the elementary school for their online testing and to implement additional teaching and learning technologies for their students, all while save approximately $400 a month.
This project was one that highlighted MOREnet’s unmatched focus on education and the public sector. We were happy to be a part of helping Ash Grove meet their testing requirements and couldn’t be more pleased with the results and the overall district savings that were enabled. We utilized staff expertise to deliver an innovative solution because we had a unique understanding of their technology needs and the ability to move swiftly during a short window of time.
As our engineers worked with local city officials to gain access to a water tower and partnered with the local water district to acquire space and power for the radios at no cost, we emphasized the importance of a community that collaborates to find the best solution to improve education. As always, at the end of the day, it was all about the kids.
MOREnet managed the build, maintenance and monitoring, which provides for timely resolutions of any outages that may occur. This end to end service offering allows us to strengthen the trusted partnership that sets MOREnet apart from any other provider.