Established in 1974, Lima Christian School is a K–12 college preparatory school that services over 200 students from 15 school districts, as well as a select number of international students. The school employs approximately 40 full-time and part-time faculty and staff members.
The 7,000 square-foot multi-use building is home to the school, as well as a community church.
The Need: Managed Wireless Infrastructure to Provide Reliable School-Wide Connectivity
In today’s educational environment, providing faculty and students with real-time access to Internet-based resources is as important as access to textbooks. The inability to access online resources reliably, and without delays caused by bandwidth restrictions, can negatively impact the effectiveness of classroom learning.
According to Jerry Thompson, network administrator for Lima Christian School, the existing wireless network was not providing the reliable connectivity required to support the 140 printers, computers, and laptops connected to the network. In addition, Thompson explained that he purchased 26 Chromebooks to support the school’s growing need for internet research in the classroom. With nearly 170 devices accessing the network during the school day, not including the various smartphones and other miscellaneous devices belonging to faculty, staff, and students, a reliable, high-density network would be critical.
Thomas explained that the school’s access points repeatedly dropped clients. “Basically, I had a series of independent APs that may or may not have been conflicting with each other.
I found the setup of the competitor’s APs to be very complicated and their customer service was very hard to get a hold of.” With a new group of international exchange students arriving for the next school year and a desire to ensure an optimal learning experience for the entire student body, Thompson was determined to deploy a new solution that would provide reliable connectivity and coverage throughout the facility.
The Solution: The EnGenius Neutron Series Wireless Management Solution
Thompson’s research to find a new wireless network solution for the school began with a call to one of his colleagues. “I completely trust his judgment, so when he told me that he often uses EnGenius products and that he’s been extremely happy with them, I knew that we needed to consider them.”
“We were looking for a system that would be easy to deploy and manage and would support our high-density client environment,” explained Thompson. “I also wanted to be able to have multiple SSIDs so that I could have students on one network and faculty on another.”
After contacting EnGenius, Thompson spoke with EnGenius distributor Keenan Systems. “In addition to the good recommendations I had received about the EnGenius Neutron Series, Jeff Keenan really helped us to understand the solution and confirmed for us that this was the best product for us.” Thompson purchased the EWS5912FP Neutron Series 8-Port GigE PoE+ Wireless Management Controller and Switch and nine EWS310AP Neutron Series Dual-Band Wireless N600 Managed Indoor Access Points.
The Results: Easy Installation, Extensive Coverage, and Cost Savings
According to Thompson, the Neutron Series Wireless Management Solution installed quickly and easily. “The competitor’s products were not user-friendly when it came to configuring the APs, whereas the EnGenius system was almost stupid easy.”
Thompson also noted that the EnGenius Neutron Series access points deliver great coverage and range, explaining that the APs are deployed between floors, enabling each AP to provide multiple floor access. “We’re getting great range,” he said. “I had a student helper take a laptop around the school to see at what point we would lose the signal. He was almost to his car in the parking lot before the signal dropped.”
“I like the cluster feature where we can add access points and configure them so they’re treated as one giant network,” stated Thompson. “With the competitor’s solution, we basically had pockets of access points. When we moved from one access point to another, we’d lose connection and have to reconnect.”
“The EnGenius Neutron Series is pretty much as advertised,” Thompson said. “And I’m very glad my colleague suggested it!”