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East Greenwich School Department & OSHEAN Team Up for Fiber

East Greenwich School Department (EGSD) had previously laid private fiber between numerous locations within the school district.  They initially self-lit this fiber but were not seeing optimal performance and as a result, they were missing opportunities to best leverage this valuable asset. The organization began looking for a partner to improve its wide-area network (WAN) throughput with a focus on serving the needs of faculty, staff, and students. 

EGSD enlisted the help of OSHEAN. The OSHEAN team began by conducting an analysis of the previous solution to understand what the district was experiencing at a wide-area network level, and helped identify areas for improvement.

OSHEAN utilized EGSD's existing fiber plant and Cisco’s Carrier Packet Transport (CPT) platform to offer advanced layer-2 services that provided the foundation for inter-school communications. Engineers were able to optimize traffic flow, provide redundancies, and offer a self-healing network foundation.  This resulted in seamless, reliable high-speed connectivity between the school district’s locations – which ultimately enhances the user experience by lowering latency and providing for greater throughput. 

East Greenwich schools now enjoy 10 GB intra-district connectivity with strategically placed connections to the OSHEAN network for access to external resources such as the internet. An example of the benefit of this is that while EGSD could utilize video before, the network can now support much more video, at better quality, with virtually no delay. 

The platform on which the solution is built enables EGSD to have virtual circuits (point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, and multipoint to multi-point) between locations and to other OSHEAN members on the Beacon 2.0 network. Beacon 2.0 is OSHEAN’s 450+ mile fiber optic backbone that connects many of the region’s Community Anchor Institutions, and is currently one of the most advanced optical networks in the country.

Furthermore, EGSD no longer needs to worry about the WAN platform as it’s entirely managed by OSHEAN. EGSD has the benefit of 24/7/365 monitoring and alerting through OSHEAN’s Network Operation Center (NOC) that proactively monitors the transport platform and can address issues, potentially even before users know an issue exists.  This gives EGSD IT staff peace of mind that the network is running optimally while minimizing operational costs and freeing up the IT department to work more closely with their constituents.  

If an issue is identified, EGSD is immediately alerted to it so they can communicate with the necessary parties.  The NOC and engineering team provides frequent updates on problem resolution and root cause analysis for the benefit of IT, and so the information can be shared with others as needed. The service allows EGSD to take control of the situation, get it resolved, and communicate with the school community (if necessary).

The end result of this combination of advanced hardware, software, and talented engineering resources is a ‘hands-off’ solution that will meet EGSD’s transport needs for years to come. This is critical because to many, the network and underlying connection technology are akin to simple utilities like water and electricity; it is just expected to work.  The value in the IT team is often more apparent to users when fixing problems such as broken computers, printer issues, etc. East Greenwich School Department IT isn’t in the business of managing infrastructure, they’re there to support education and provide technical assistance to users, demonstrate best practices, and more -- and with OSHEAN’s support, they are able to focus their efforts on doing just that.

"OSHEAN has allowed us to redirect our focus on teaching, learning and the classroom with confidence that OSHEAN will handle the management of the network," said Victor Babson, Director of Technology, East Greenwich Public Schools. 

EGSD is about to complete the loop to connect the final school in the district and expects that OSHEAN will manage that as well.  

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