The Amarillo Independent School District (AISD), based in the city of Amarillo, Texas, is a district spanning nearly 70 square miles of land in Randall and Potter County with 58 locations and serving over 32,500 students. With a network of locations that encompass every phase of the K-12 learning lifecycle as well as specialized instruction locations, AISD is dedicated to helping students comprehensively prepare for college and beyond.
Due to changes in the Texas State Legislature funding at the time, AISD’s current network service charges were increasing from $14,000 per month for 1Gbps connections to almost half a million. With its existing infrastructure, the level of robust bandwidth and on-site hosting capabilities necessary to support these learning and security measures was unavailable and not financially viable.
To position AISD for long-term growth, deliver network agility and control, enable student access to digital opportunities, enhance security and pave the way for new developments, FiberLight was chosen to deploy a 70-mile dark fiber network expansion.
With the FCC’s Category 1 E-rate program and the Texas State Legislature’s matching funds, the dark fiber network buildout was 100 percent subsidized. With networking equipment also eligible under Category 1, 80 percent of the equipment was covered as well.
By enhancing the AISD network across its entire footprint with greater control, enhanced security and high-capacity connectivity, each of the district’s unique goals were met with a highly capable and reliable network environment provisioned by FiberLight. Furthermore, with the district looking into building a private LTE network that would provision connectivity to student and staff homes and offer important remote education opportunities, this dark fiber created a necessary foundation for a potential development that otherwise would not be possible.
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We realized that building our own network would protect our budget and bottom line as well as provide new levels of flexibility needed to expand schools, increase bandwidth and remove restrictions—giving us free rein to do what we wanted with our network.
Jeff D. Roller – CTO, AISD