School district seeks more bandwidth for network

The Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5 has resources to assist member school districts, of which the Warren County School District is one.

But for the multimedia resources, the districts have to be able to get them.

Last week, the Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Committee forwarded to the whole board a proposal to continue to participate in the IU’s Regional Wide-Area Network (RWAN) and purchase additional bandwidth.

The agreement would result in monthly costs of $1,385 for the RWAN connection, $500 for 100 megabytes per second of Internet bandwidth as well as smaller monthly payments which, according to an executive summary, total $1,997.20 per month for the duration of the three-year agreement.

Brian Collopy, coordinator of technology/information management, told the committee that the district has been a member of the RWAN for the last five years.

“We also competitively bid our own proposal for additional bandwidth,” he said. “That connection would allow us to get multimedia through the IU” as well as other support.

Collopy said that Velocity.net was selected by a majority of the IU’s districts for the RWAN service and that the district also selected Velocity.net for the additional bandwidth.

Collopy also said that “this also has the Pa. IU net, (the) regional WAN that is going to connect the IUs together.” He said the fee for that state-wide service is not clear yet but noted that “the IU said the price to connect would come in the next month.”

The bandwidth purchase will result in the district having “two divergent internet connections” which “enhances internet accessibility for students,” he added.

He also noted that the cost of the RWAN connection is approximately $6,000 cheaper than the last agreement.