Trent College doubles pupils’ IT use with innovative wireless technology from Khipu and Alcatel-Lucent
Paris - Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and networking and security integrator Khipu Networks today announced that Trent College, a leading UK independent day and boarding school, has seen pupils’ use of its IT facilities double since the deployment of an Alcatel-Lucent wired and wireless local area network (WLAN). At the end of the first school year with the network in use, Trent College, which is situated on the border of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, has also reported that IT support for laptops has been reduced by approximately 90 percent thanks to the introduction of network access control (NAC) technology from Bradford Networks.
The wireless network, which is based on Alcatel-Lucent’s OmniAccess WLAN technology, has been rolled out across 15 school buildings and supports 500 computers, with more than 230 student devices now registered to use the network, an increase of more than 100 percent on the previous year. On an average day between 80-120 students connect via mobile devices, including laptops from a variety of different approved manufacturers, as well as iPod Touch and iPhone devices.
Access to the WLAN is granted following authentication by Bradford Networks’ Campus Manager, which conducts a device scan and authorises users appropriately based on whether or not each device complies with Trent’s IT security policy. Should a device fail, Campus Manager is able to detail the reasons why and provide links to the required software or operating system patches.
Network registration is quick and straightforward, while Trent provides an additional support website to give further advice. Web portals also give students and staff remote access to the network drives and email from any computer in the world, improving their ability to share knowledge and collaborate outside of school hours.
Khipu, which has more than 20 independent school customers, has also overhauled the College’s fixed network infrastructure using Alcatel-Lucent’s OmniSwitch technology, to give Trent’s boarding students physical LAN connections within their rooms.
“We’ve seen growing demand for laptop connectivity from students from age 14 onwards, as well as for those with special needs requirements – however, this is the first year that we’ve been able to provide truly comprehensive internet access,” said Matt Harris, IT manager at Trent College. “Previously, students would only use laptops when there was a specific lesson requirement to do so. Following Khipu’s network overhaul, we now have consistent internet usage, with students able to securely use networked devices to access information like school textbooks wherever and whenever they require, making the classroom much more interactive.”
While Trent has always looked to provide students with internet access, its previous system of connecting ‘recommended’ laptops up to the school domain was prohibitive, as not all students could afford the recommended device. Furthermore, Trent was unable to deploy access policies on the students’ machines, which meant in many cases they received more network administration rights than the staff.
Trent investigated the possibility of a laptop rental scheme, however this was not economically viable, and so instead, the College examined ways to rollout internet usage to any device, without compromising network security. Having witnessed Khipu’s major NAC deployment at nearby University of Nottingham, Trent engaged Khipu to provide a similar solution for its own network, opting for Bradford Networks’ purpose-built NAC solution for academic environments.
Trent was impressed by Khipu’s expertise and ability to tailor its offering to meet the College’s exact requirements, while Khipu’s support team has also integrated closely with Trent’s IT department, providing ongoing consultancy since the completion of the rollout.
“With the continued increase in IT literacy and the resultant rise in student expectations, a number of forward-thinking schools such as Trent have taken steps to deploy infrastructures that encourage maximum use of online resources,” said Matt Ashman, commercial consultant at Khipu Networks. “With its new network, Trent has a foundation on which to further improve its IT facilities and enable its students, helping them to translate the College’s investment into greater academic achievement.”
“Many aspects of the University learning model are now filtering through to secondary and further education,” said David Parker, vice president for Alcatel-Lucent’s enterprise activities, UK & Ireland. “Whether its students accessing the internet on their iPhones, or business workers requiring instant network access via PDAs, the key to becoming a more dynamic enterprise is to help people complete tasks and share information more quickly and securely in real time on the devices of their choice.”
For the 2008/09 school year, Trent will increase the range of supported devices to include games consoles as well as popular smartphones. Furthermore, Khipu is currently extending Campus Manager so that every LAN connection on-site will be available for student use, rather than restricting fixed access to the boarding rooms. The College aims to encourage more and more pupils to register and make use of the IT facilities, and it is currently investing in a new public web portal both to promote greater external awareness about its range of IT facilities, as well as enabling students to perform the Campus Manager device checks from home before the term starts.
About Trent College
Trent College is a happy and flourishing co-educational, independent day and boarding school. There are around 800 pupils in the Senior School and over 300 pupils in our Junior School, The Elms. Our campus is located in beautiful grounds conveniently situated on the border of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Founded in 1866, Trent is a school with a rich heritage and traditions spanning 140 years. Though we value our unique and distinguished past, we have our eyes firmly set on the demands being made on young people in the 21st century and a spirit of energy, creativity and innovation shapes our school life.
Khipu Networks is a UK-based advanced systems integrator, focusing on supplying innovative secure compliant infrastructure solutions across the public and private sector. The company is a leading adopter of new and best-in-breed technology – expert technical staff ensure that customers get the solutions they need, when they want them and how they need them. The ethos is to ensure that the customer has the edge on the security and compliance of their network and not the attacker. Hampshire based Khipu Networks Ltd is the security division of the White Clarke Group of companies. Khipu Networks is an Alcatel-Lucent Direct Partner and the exclusive reseller of Bradford Campus Manager in the UK and Ireland. http://www.khipu-networks.com
Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) provides solutions that enable service providers, enterprise and governments worldwide, to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. As a leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent offers the end-to-end solutions that enable compelling communications services for people at home, at work and on the move. With operations in more than 130 countries, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with global reach. The company has the most experienced global services team in the industry, and one of the largest research, technology and innovation organizations in the telecommunications industry. Alcatel-Lucent achieved revenues of Euro 17.8 billion in 2007 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com
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