The goal of the city’s new 605 Innovation Design District is to make Aurora the state’s high-tech leader. As part of the project, the city will be launching an array of smart city applications that will encompass several industries, including engineering, architecture and telecommunications. The latter industry was of particular importance to the West Aurora School District 129 this past summer.
The school district, which educates over 12,000 students and employees approximately 400 teachers, had plans to construct a new WAN (Wide Area Network), which is one of the largest, most time-consuming and potentially headache-inducing projects an IT department can take on.
That is, unless you use Metronet.
Don Ringelestein, the school district’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), who has over 20 years of experience in the high-tech industry, needed to replace his existing WAN. In Don’s case, it was a large one, connecting 18 schools, a transportation facility and the administration building. To add to it, the project needed to be completed prior to the start of the school year, only a few months away.
“Moving a WAN off another provider and building a new one is a pretty impressive feat in and of itself,” said Don. “We had 3 big projects this summer— the WAN being one of them, of course—and they all came off really well."
Don received proposals and bids from several providers, including Metronet, which provides WAN services (among its other industry-leading solutions) over its 100% all-fiber network. Not only did Metronet beat the district’s incumbent WAN provider from a technological and capabilities standpoint, it also came in with the lowest price point. According to Don, “Metronet beat them all hands down."
Prior to the WAN deployment, Metronet's engineers conducted site surveys at each of the district’s 20 facilities to ensure they fully understood how, precisely, they would construct fiber to each location’s demarcation point. And with each new fiber deployment comes associated red-tape steps in the form of rights of way and acquiring city and building permits, all of which was handled by Metronet. When one of the locations requires the fiber to cross Illinois Route 25, a busy north-south thoroughfare, permitting takes on a heightened level of scrutiny and time.
“The only issue with the installation was crossing Highway 25,” said Don. “However, with Metronet, that went much faster than what I had seen in the past. They cut the permitting time it had taken our previous provider by two months.”
Working within the confines of a tight deadline, Metronet installed and fully tested the school district’s new WAN solution, which is comprised of (12) 1Gbps circuits and (6) 10Gbps circuits connecting all its locations.
West Aurora School District 129’s WAN was ready for the new school year, and right on schedule.
“Our account executive, Thorsten Belicke, did exactly what he said he was going to do,” said Don. “Between him and Metronet's project management team, it was a pretty impressive achievement. I’d like to thank Thorsten and Metronet for not making installing our new WAN a headache. And that’s really the highest compliment you can give a vendor. They didn’t make my life hard.”