New Initiative to Accelerate WiFi in Schools

IT network specialist 3Com and 802.UK, a wireless provider for education, have joined forces to promote the benefits of second-generation wireless for schools. The companies will offer free wireless information seminars and advice, while a new “Wireless for Schools” guide will help schools take full advantage of fast, efficient second-generation Wi-Fi technology.

Wireless helps teachers and pupils work continuously as they move around the school without losing laptop connection between wireless access points. This means both pupils and teachers have the internet on tap wherever they are, and can use cost-saving applications such as voice over WiFi.

The move will help the government deliver on the ICT element of its Building Schools for the Future (BSF) program, says Gary Hudson, managing director of 802.UK. “The uptake of second-generation wireless provides immeasurable advantages to schools and to the community as well, through life-long learning. It’s a step forward in achieving the government’s vision for the BSF program.”

Says Steve Johnson, 3Com UK Channel Manager: “The majority of schools already have a wireless network but many are having problems. This may be because they are unaware of second generation wireless, or unaware that it can be used in conjunction with existing wired and wireless networks. 3Com and 802.UK can help advise schools on how to acquire the best WiFi solution and take advantage of new applications like Skype, video or voice over WiFi.”

He continues: “Second generation wireless also improves school security. For example, using IP network surveillance, which can monitor external exits, doorways and gates, and vandal-proof cameras with inbuilt microphones, staff can record incidents. With national statistics showing that a teacher is assaulted every seven minutes, security is a top priority for schools today.”

802.UK, a specialist second generation wireless application partner, delivers managed wireless solutions and cabling for the primary, secondary and college education sector. 802.UK has the UK’s first Wireless Centres Of Excellence in Surrey and Dorset, which operate as live manufacturers’ showrooms where school representatives can view and use wireless technology such as wireless cameras, phones and asset tags. The Centres are an essential resource for teachers who are looking to become more aware about the technology.

Steve Johnson says, “I’m delighted to be partnering with a passionate and committed organisation like 802.UK, which has the skills, knowledge and understanding to help schools create the best mobile learning environments, based on 3Com infrastructures.”

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