Wisbech Grammar School deploys Xirrus Wireless Arrays to deliver a flexible BYOD architecture
London, UK, 2 October 2013 – Xirrus, the leader in high-performance wireless networks, today announced that Wisbech Grammar School has deployed Xirrus Wireless Arrays to deliver a Wi-Fi network to over 600 pupils across its Cambridgeshire campus.
Based in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, the school is a fully co-educational, independent HMC day school and occupies a 21 acre campus.
The school recently overhauled its ICT infrastructure with a view to establishing a modern learning experience for its students. With no previous wireless network in place, this gave the school an opportunity to rethink its strategy to improve access to IT in the classroom and throughout the school by means of introducing a flexible Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) scheme.
Wisbech Grammar selected Xirrus to provide its pupils, staff and visitors with a fast and reliable Wi-Fi connection across the campus. Three separate networks have been developed on the Xirrus infrastructure to achieve this; one to extend its existing wired network, a second local area network (LAN) to support BYOD, and a third for guest access.
Jon Drewett, IT support manager at Wisbech Grammar School, comments: “Xirrus demonstrated solid experience in the education sector and the ability to deliver reliable, high-performance wireless coverage across our school’s site. The unique technology behind the Xirrus solution matched our requirements to provide quality Wi-Fi across a range of mobile, tablet and notebook devices, as well as giving us the flexibility to develop networks catering for different groups of people. With 50 arrays across the school, the controller-less approach allows for more potential capacity than channelling traffic through a single point, and means the school can grow the Wi-Fi network easily by adding in more access points. The added benefit of the Xirrus solution is that it allowed us to treat Wi-Fi as an extension to our wired network, which saved time and money during the infrastructural upgrade.”
“With Bring Your Own Device redefining the landscape within the modern classroom, we wanted to embrace the exciting new opportunities arising from mobile technology and personal learning.
“Our network of Xirrus arrays provides us with total site coverage allowing staff to access documents on the go, and to give pupils the freedom to work on projects in common areas. The reception has been positive so far, as teachers are starting to experiment with BYOD in the classroom, and students are engaging in simultaneous independent research. Although this will be a journey of discovery for both students and staff, we feel confident that, with Xirrus, we have chosen the right partner, with a solution that adapts as requirements change. In addition we have deployed guest internet access for events and visitors, which has already proved very successful.”
Ensuring a sympathetic installation
The campus includes a mix of listed Georgian and Victorian buildings, modern classrooms, renovated houses and mobile classrooms, so Wisbech required a wireless solution that could be installed without major disruption to the appearance of its buildings: “The clean and unobtrusive design of the Xirrus Wireless Arrays meant we were able to keep our cabling as discreet and sympathetic to our historic buildings as possible, as well as retaining the capability to service or replace arrays quickly and easily. Xirrus worked closely to our visual preferences ensuring the design didn’t interfere with the compound aesthetic of listed and modern buildings,” said Mr Drewett.
Xirrus worked closely with Wisbech during the installation process, carrying out pre- and post-site surveys, identifying the specific positioning of each Wireless Array to ensure maximum coverage with minimal intrusion.
“The level of consultancy provided by Xirrus during the installation was impressive and really helped to streamline the process. The speed and accuracy of technical support as well as ongoing advice really sets Xirrus apart from competitors,” added Mr Drewett.
Enhancing the learning environment
Sean Larner, International VP, at Xirrus said: “We’re seeing technology develop at an exponential rate, and greater recognition from forward-thinking schools on how to address this change and use technology to provide pupils with a flexible, modern-day learning environment. With the introduction of a robust wireless network and a BYOD scheme, Wisbech Grammar is doing just that. The new Wi-Fi enables staff to develop a more efficient and fluid approach to teaching, as well as allowing pupils to download assignments, research online and continue their studies at any location within the school grounds.”
About Xirrus, Inc.
Xirrus is the leading provider of high-performance wireless networks. Xirrus solutions perform under the most demanding circumstances, offering consistent "wired-like" performance with superior coverage and security. The Xirrus suite of WI-FI optimised solutions -- Arrays, access points, cloud services, and wired switches provide seamless connectivity and unified management across the network. Xirrus provides a vital strategic business and IT infrastructure advantage to industries that depend on wireless to operate business-critical applications. With tens of thousands of customer solutions deployed globally, Xirrus maintains operations and partnerships across the globe. Xirrus is a privately held company and is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, CA. For more information please visit: www.xirrus.com and follow us on Twitter: @Xirrus.
Xirrus and XMS are trademarks or registered trademarks of Xirrus. Other trade names used in this document are or may be the property of their respective owners.
About Wisbech Grammar
Wisbech Grammar School is a co-educational independent school in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire for students ages 11 to 18. Founded by the Wisbech Guild of the Holy Trinity in 1379, it is one of the oldest schools in the country. The present headmaster is N.J.G. Hammond, a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. Entry to the senior school at age 11 is based on a competitive examination. Pupils are also admitted at later stages, including sixth form.
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