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Erskine College Beefs Up Network To Support Electronic Learning

In an effort to support electronic learning initiatives on and off its campus, a small college in rural South Carolina will be overhauling its IT infrastructure with a new wired and wireless network. Erskine College, a 600-student institution in Due West, SC, contracted with regional data communications provider West Carolina Tel to build a new network for the campus, one that will be powered by gear from Brocade.

The college is now looking to deliver real-time audio and video capabilities for distance learning applications, including the use of IP television services and interactive whiteboards. The expectation is that Erskine will now be able to compete against larger schools in attracting students from surrounding urban areas.

"West Carolina Tel has been a true partner in helping us keep our students and faculty connected with the most advanced technologies," said Bobby Clarke, director of IT.

The service provider selected Brocade MLX Series routers for core operations to meet dramatic growth in network traffic and reduce the cost of data traffic. It's also using Brocade FastIron WS Series switches on the network edge to deliver new services to users, such as IP telephony; wireless access; Web TV; video surveillance; building management systems; and other forms of voice, video, and data delivery.

"We were selected to provide service to the school, and within a month we had equipment in, services provisioned, and students online. Brocade was a huge part of simplifying the process," said Russell Clark, plant operations manager at the service provider. "Brocade was able to get the product to us in the timeframe we required, which allowed us to get services up and running just in time for the school year. Brocade stayed with us throughout the implementation."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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