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Despite budget constraints, schools improve fiber optic network
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The Effingham County School System was challenged recently when the economic downturn reduced revenues from both state and local sources, forcing the district to reduce costs while maintaining the innovative technologies it had implemented over the past several years.

One area of focus was its fiber optic network. Even though the district needed to cut costs, it was imperative that it maintain the bandwidth required to maintain its technology-focused programs, including its Web site. Thanks to a partnership with Champion ONE, a global provider of fiber optic solutions, the district was able to optimize its fiber optic network while maintaining continuity of service and realizing a substantial decrease in network-related costs.

Composed of 14 schools, the  Effingham school system prides itself on adopting cutting-edge technology to provide a top-notch level of education for its traditional and career academy students.

“Technology is vitally important to this school district’s day-to-day mission,” said Jeff Lariscy, technology and media services coordinator for the school district. “In addition, about 95 percent of the central office’s applications are Web-based. We need to keep them operating optimally.”

Upon researching options for maintaining the district’s network, Effingham County schools found Champion ONE. Included in its product portfolio, Champion ONE provides a line of single-fiber or bi-directional transceivers, a technology that allows a single fiber optic cable to both send and receive a full duplex signal across a single strand of fiber. By adopting this technology, Effingham County schools stood to double their data-carrying capacity and reduce leasing costs significantly by reclaiming half of their fiber strands that were no longer necessary. After hearing great reviews of Champion ONE’s service from other academic institutions, the school district decided to move forward with optimizing their network.

Working with Champion ONE, Effingham County schools were able to optimize their district’s fiber plant, use previously unavailable digital optical monitoring for real-time monitoring of their transceivers and cut its fiber costs by 50 percent, or approximately $25,000 per year.

“The Champion ONE solution has allowed us to continue to provide the robust network our educational programs require and the cost savings are phenomenal,” Lariscy said.