Pieter Zandt comprehensive school: fiber optics based on dark fiber facilitates growth

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The educational sector is undergoing a substantial digital transformation. For instance, teaching materials are increasingly provided digitally. Students also rely on the availability of fast internet access. The Pieter Zandt comprehensive school has to deal with this on a daily basis. They opted for dark fiber connectivity and broadband internet access through Eurofiber. The aim was to ensure that teachers and students will be able to work and learn optimally, now and in the future.

Central server environment

The Pieter Zandt comprehensive school is a secondary school with 4 locations. Roughly 350 employees work to ensure that excellent education is provided to 2,800 students. The ICT department consists of six employees and works with its own server environment at one of the locations. From there, employees and students are given access to applications and data, such as VOIP telephone services and internet access.

The challenge: unacceptable waiting times

“We had a 1 Gb/s connection with 100 Mb/s internet access,” says the head of ICT. ”However, we’re doing more and more over the network. Like interconnecting the locations, providing web-based teaching materials and offering telephone services over the WAN connection. That requires a fast, stable connection. “And that was becoming a bottleneck” he explains. ”The time it took teachers to log in had become unacceptably long, for example. And internet access was also less than reliable. If the line fails, there is not much you can do as a teacher, student or administrative employee. Availability is an absolute requirement.”

The solution for Pieter Zandt: more speed

The head of ICT went looking for a better WAN connection that could also accommodate the increasing digitalization of the comprehensive school. He chose the fiber optic network provided by Eurofiber. “The connections have been established successfully, including the migration of the central server environment. We now have dedicated dark fiberconnections between the locations that provide 10 Gb/s of bandwidth and broadband internet access at a speed of 500 Mb/s. That also ensures that we do not need active hardware at the other three locations: all network traffic is directly routed via switches to and from the server environment.”

Drastic drop in lag

“The new dark fiber connections linked to the Eurofiber network provided much-needed relief, according to the head of ICT. ”After the summer holidays, we basically flipped the switch, in a manner of speaking. Everything immediately worked much faster. Waiting times have gone from five minutes to one minute, with ping times that have dropped from 6 to 0.6 milliseconds.”

The benefits for Pieter Zandt

  • Fast and reliable fiber optic network
  • Guaranteed continuity due to redundant network
  • Dark fiber provides flexibility
  • Future-proof network connections as a basis for cloud services

Ready for the future in the cloud

The new fiber optic connections have significantly improved the current ICT situation, but that’s not all. They also provide a solid foundation for future growth. The head of ICT also has a very pragmatic view on a complete migration to the cloud. “From other partner schools, I am also hearing less positive comments about the cloud, specifically regarding speed and availability. That will undoubtedly improve in the future. That is why I believe we will go to the cloud in due time. As far as our own WAN connections are concerned, we are already ready for it!”

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This is a Lifeline article brought to you by Eurofiber. The Lifeline platform offers information and inspiration in the field of digital connectivity. Eurofiber.be/lifeline.