ZyXEL Upgrades Belgian School with Wireless Network Solution

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Background

The Sint-Janscollege is mainly an ASO school (General Secondary Education) with a limited range of technical school subjects (Socio-Technical Education in the first two years and Socio-Technical Sciences in the following two years). It endeavors to offer quality education and contribute to a more well-rounded level of schooling. A balance is required within the school between transferring knowledge, creating a positive learning attitude, acquiring skills, nurturing creativity, exercising self-effectiveness, and encouraging altruism.

To ensure all these requirements are met, the school makes sure that there is an exceptional educational environment that is conducive to learning, a methodical established classroom approach, and a suitable infrastructure, including an up-to-date wireless network that meets the needs of students and administrators now and going forward.

Challenges

The Sint-Janscollege (campus Heiveld) consists of one main building and two annexes. The main building is divided into classroom and administrative sections. The other two buildings are sports facilities and labs. The whole site will be equipped with one Internet connection (Telenet) but the network must also include sufficient control and security measures.

The students’ Internet surfing behavior is monitored in order that the school’s network is used primarily for the purpose of information and education only. This means the webmaster must be able to see what is happening on the network and who is doing what. Also access of other parties to the Internet must be restricted.

In addition, a control system must be available to regulate entry to the sports building and facilities. Restricted access to this area is a must. An additional problem is that the multi-purpose hall is often rented out to third parties, one example being the local basketball team, who uses the facilities regularly.

In case of any accident in the sports building, quick reaction is essential. Therefore an Internet telephone line is needed to enable swift contact to the admin department in case of an emergency.

Another important additional element is the bandwidth of the Internet connection. This needs to be structured so that students and the administrative department always have priority.

Solutions and Benefits

The ZyXEL Unified Security Gateway, located on the first floor of the main building at Sint-Janscollege, is the key player in this case. Unlike a normal firewall, the Unified Security Gateway makes sure every packet that enters the network is initially subjected to a thorough check before it is sent to the network switches.

The next requirement consists of two web smart switches, which are the best financial choice for the school given their limited resources. All the school’s network traffic is distributed across the three buildings from the pair of switches. In the main building, wireless Internet will be offered in the classrooms, internally, through a few Wireless Access Points . This business- and enterprise-class model is also a wireless controller capable of managing other access points. It is also equipped with the fast wireless N-protocol and VLAN support.

The Internet network features one web smart switch to the sports building through a fiberglass cable in order to shorten the distance. Apart from Internet access VoIP support will also be very useful. A direct Internet connection is possible in this way through an Internet telephone line between the sports facilities and the administrative department for emergency calls. The labs will also be equipped with Internet through a second web smart switch from the main building.

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