OAKLAND, Calif., Nov. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In a time when education resources are moving online at a rapid pace, Comcast Business today announced that the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), a national leader in the community schools movement, has selected Comcast Business Ethernet services to provide high-capacity, reliable Internet connectivity and expanded bandwidth support for its personalized learning curriculum and applications. Comcast Business will increase average broadband speeds across the OUSD network from 50 megabits per second to 1 Gbps to the elementary schools and 5 Gbps to most of the middle and high schools — at a lower cost than the previous service. If necessary, OUSD may even scale the network to provide schools with up to 10GBs in the future.
With nearly 35,000 students and 5,000 staff members across more than 100 sites, the new network infrastructure will enable OUSD staff members and students to access high-speed broadband from multiple locations, whether accessing learning resources or streaming HD video. Ubiquitous wireless broadband and a variety of devices will deliver online resources to all teachers and students, helping to ensure equitable access for all.
OUSD has implemented a number of innovative technology initiatives to enhance teaching, expand learning and reduce costs. By investing in a flexible and scalable network infrastructure, OUSD can ensure the adoption and effectiveness of various learning environments. The district is designing and implementing next-generation learning systems that provide individualized, technology-based learning models to match each student's specific needs, preferences, and performance.
The customized delivery of learning resources takes into account learning interests and learning styles in order to increase student engagement and academic performance. It also allows students to work in a collaborative setting, increasing the depth of their school experience. An enhanced network also enables the district to implement virtual desktops from a centrally located data center and increases the level of resources available to individual schools, staff and students.
"Our goal is to prepare our students for the future and provide them with the educational tools and resources that will help them succeed," said John Krull, Information Technology Officer, Oakland Unified School District. "Our use of Comcast Business's technology and infrastructure is enabling us to create an equitable, supportable, customizable learning environment that empowers our students and our staff to drive the learning experience and ensure Oakland's schools are competitive with the best in the world."
"In today's educational environment, new technologies are being used creatively to reshape students' learning experiences, so we are thrilled to be the network foundation and technology provider to help OUSD stay at the forefront of digital learning," said Ted Girdner, vice president at Comcast Business, California region. "Comcast Business offers a wide array of services that can help schools and other local organizations prepare for the future by providing the bandwidth needed today and the ability to scale for the technology needs of tomorrow."
"Comcast Business's broadband solution will not only enhance the technological capacity of our school district, but also has broader positive implications for our community members, businesses and local economy, added Barbara Leslie, President and CEO, Oakland Chamber of Commerce. "It's imperative that Oakland's technology infrastructure be state of the art to prepare our students with cutting edge knowledge and expertise necessary to transition into Oakland's growing workforce."
In addition to providing infrastructure to support in-school learning, Comcast is committed to creating a continuum of connectivity that begins in the classroom with wired schools, follows the students to wired libraries, wired recreation centers, and wired after-school programs, and ends in wired homes when the day is done. Low-income families at OUSD - and in Comcast service areas across the nation - are also given options for low-cost technology and broadband service through Comcast's Internet Essentials initiative to ensure their students have the access to the educational tools they need to succeed in their homes too. All of this is part of the Get Connected Oakland initiative involving OUSD, the City of Oakland, and partners throughout the city.
About Oakland Unified School District:
The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), the public school system for Oakland, California is building America's first Full-Service Community School District, one where "Every Student Thrives!" In OUSD's "Community Schools, Thriving Students" vision, each school site offers high levels of learning along with physical health, mental health, dental and eye care; nutrition, physical education, recreation, before-school and afterschool programs; housing, employment, parenting and language acquisition courses and a range of other programs. Social and human services are not seen as extra or add-ons in these schools. Instead, collaboration in service of children and families is how they consistently behave. To learn more about OUSD and its work to ensure that schools are safe places where students are engaged, challenged to meet college and career standards, and encouraged to have fun and build productive and sustaining relationships, please visit: www.ousd.k12.ca.us.
About Comcast Business
Comcast Business, a unit of Comcast Cable, provides advanced communication solutions to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. Through a next-generation network that is backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcast delivers Business Internet, Ethernet, TV and a full portfolio of Voice services for cost-effective, simplified communications management.
For more information, call 866-429-3085.
About Comcast Cable:
Comcast Cable is the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds, and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings. Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
About Internet Essentials:
Internet Essentials from Comcast is the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. It provides low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and multiple options to access free digital literacy training in print, online, and in-person. Eligible families must have at least one child eligible to participate in the National School Lunch Program, including public, parochial, private, and homeschool students. We estimate a total of approximately 2.6 million eligible families live in our service area and therefore could apply for Internet Essentials.
SOURCE Comcast Business