Monday, November 28, 2016

WiFi Updates Coming to Dist 219

WiFi Updates Coming to Dist 219

District 219 will be updating its WiFi infrastructure over the Winter break so, please stay tuned for upcoming updates!

We have put together the following Q&As to bring you up to speed on this WiFi project.

The WiFi works for me...why do we need to update?
Even though we have a working wireless network, there are many factors at play that signal the need for an update. For instance:
  • Our current WiFi does not support the newest WiFi standards (802.11ac) thus, devices that could be connected at faster speeds are slowed down to match the speeds of our aging WiFi (max 802.11n).
  • Our existing WiFi lacks the necessary technology to provide features and security that can carry us into the future, and merely updating our current hardware would be expensive and limit our options moving forward.Our current Meru WiFi, was first implemented  back in 2006.

What is this update going to cost?
We have been planning this upgrade for over two years, and now are in a position to implement it. The cost to the District is around $118,221. We have applied for and successfully received federal funds from the eRate program that will cover  half of the total cost of the project.

When will this happen?
We are working on building the system configurations and hope to pilot the new system at  the District office and Central by the end of the month.  Niles North and Niles West will be added over Winter break.

What is going to change?
The new WiFi network is by Aerohive and in order to maximize what the product can do for us, we are introducing some changes:
  • Students will connect to a single WiFi (NTHS-STUDENT). Students will receive a personalized access key to connect up to 2 devices at any given time. Each student will be assigned a personal access key and they will receive this information via email.  The access keys can be reissued/reset by the Help Desk.
  • Staff with devices configured to NTHS-STAFF will connect automatically without any adjustments.
  • NTHS-GUEST will no longer be open.  Visitors will  use a portal to register and obtain a one-day pass. Visitors that require a guest pass for long periods must call the Help Desk to have their one-day access key extended.
  • NTHS-BYOD will no longer be used.

What can I do to help?
We are trying to make this transition as painless as possible, but recognize that with change comes stress.  We hope to reduce your stress by keeping you well informed. You can help us by staying tuned to our updates and ask questions.

What is next?

Just stay tuned! We will continue to  provide you with timely and important information in the upcoming weeks.

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