By Lori Smith
When school resumes in the fall, students in the Pickerington Local School District should experience improved internet capabilities.
During the April 9 meeting of the Pickerington Board of Education, the board voted 5-0 to approve a service agreement with the Metropolitan Educational Technology Association.
“The contract is for our internet service, and the service to connect our buildings internally,” said Treasurer Ryan Jenkins after the meeting.
The renewal of the existing contracts included an increase in bandwidth from 1.5 Gbps to 5 Gbps to connect the internet, he explained.
“We also increased our aggregate circuit bandwidth at our Network Operations Center to 20 Gbps; and the interconnectivity from North High School and Central High School to 2 Gbps,” he said. “All other buildings are 1 Gbps.”
The improvements will go into effect July 1, and both students and staff should see improvements in the internet capabilities, Jenkins said.
“Our internet provides all of our data to and from the World Wide Web,” Jenkins noted. “The contracts also cover all interconnectivity to and from all buildings. Put differently, our connectivity is as an important a utility as electricity and natural gas. Without connectivity, 21st century education is nearly impossible.”
The district will pay about the same cost as before, he said, with an increase of about $9,000 annually while nearly doubling capability. It averages to about $16 per pupil per year.
In other news, the board entered a closed session to discuss the certified teachers’ union contract, which expires June 30. No action was taken following the closed session.