Celebrating the 2014-15 School Year

Last night my daughter exclaimed, “We turned in our math books. It’s officially the end of the year!” It’s been many years since I turned in a math book. That never stops me from celebrating this other “end of the year.” I thought I’d share a few highlights that we’ve experienced across the WiscNet membership this past school year.

Beyond Gigabit

A record number of folks are embracing 1 Gbps connections to WiscNet. We still have some work ahead to achieve the 1 Gbps/1000 students by 2017 target, nonetheless the pace is quickening. Take a few moments this summer to think about your needs in 2016 and beyond. 1-1 programs? BYOD? State testing? We continue to see bandwidth usage double year after year for many of our members. Questions? Contact Jim Young at WiscNet and he’ll help you review options.

JortsOnline State Testing

Hats off to all the sysadmins that took on K12 online state testing in 2014-15.  Years of preparation turned to moments of prayer hoping some automatic Java update wouldn’t throw a monkey wrench at go time. We salute your efforts!

New WiscNet Backbone

While most of us were sleeping, WiscNet network engineers were busy upgrading and swapping out the backbone of our entire network. These feats of strength went largely unnoticed. I promise they will be celebrated at Festivus 2015.

WiscNet Filtering

Last summer WiscNet moved folks using our content filtering service over to iBoss. Our members LOVE iBoss. Each box we ship nets 2 or 3 other new people that want to get in on this. Demo units are available. Summer is a great time to test them out. Chat up Rich Turiel here at WiscNet if you are interesting in talking details.

E-Rate Reform

E-Rate reform became real at that FCC level. Many were skeptical about the their ability to implement the proposed changes. They nailed it. $3.9 billion in requests, $3.9 billion in funding headed out the door. We are excited about what 2016-17 has in store once fiber and construction becomes E-Rate eligible. Again, Jim Young is your guy if you want more details as you begin planning for the 2016-17 E-Rate cycle.

Community Area Network Growth

Finally, Community Area Networks. We’ve been talking about communities getting together to address their common networking needs for a while now. Communities coming together as city, county, school, college, library, and hospital leaders and saying, “Let’s stop duplicating efforts.” The number of examples we have here in Wisconsin jumped from 4 to 40 in a very short time. We are itching to help all Wisconsin communities bump these efforts forward another step. Ping Sarah Miller here at WiscNet to learn how.

This Internet thing is bigger than any of us could have ever imagined. Being able to do it as a community – as opposed to a corporation – is what WiscNet is all about. Thank you for the efforts you put into making WiscNet successful this past school year. As your mind begins to wander in these quieter summer months, think about ways WiscNet can help further. Drop us a line.

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