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Innovating Professional Development

Association of Independent Schools NSW

The AIS is the peak body representing over 340 independent schools across the state. In order to streamline professional development across all staff the association has used Vertel's Etherwave Line service to enable HD video conferencing to remote schools. This same network also provides high speed broadband and third party interconnects to the schools

The Challenge

Independent Schools vie for students hence Professional Development and Learning is a cornerstone of the schools competitive differentiation. However for regionally located schools this means teachers were losing vast amounts of class time travelling to training events. In response to this the AIS began investigating video conferencing to provide equal opportunity to all schools and teachers.

AIS NSW required a network that would:

  • Be rapidly deployed to remote locations.
  • Provide QoS guarantees to enable video conferencing and other real-time applications.
  • Be easily scalable to add new schools in the future.
  • Provide value for money.

Our Approach

Vertel was a strong contender early in the AIS search for a solution due to its considerable experience in fixed wireless Internet and MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) certified Etherwave service.

The remote locations of many schools in the initial roll out meant that alternate access, such as licensed microwave, would need to be investigated to provide an on time and on budget solution. The QoS requirements and required SLAs also meant that a certified Carrier Ethernet service was a mandatory requirement.

After a proof of concept was conducted at one AIS NSW site, where implementation and network performance exceed expectations, the network was rolled out to the 15 participating schools in just a few months. During 2013, 4 additional schools were added to the network with a further 2 currently in progress.

The Solution

Each school received a real-time EVC to enable video conferencing between all locations. Many schools also took advantage of this infrastructure and added additional EVCs to their service to run Internet or third party interconnects. Vertel delivered a dedicated 100Mb carrier grade, head end link into the AIS HQ for high definition video conferencing aggregation from the schools on the WAN. Dedicated EVCs which were simultaneously rolled out to all the regional schools use Vertel's 'Real Time' service grade which guarantees latency, packet loss of <0.01% and jitter of <5ms.

  • Real-time EVC for video conferencing.
  • Growing networks with additional schools added in 2013.
  • 'Real-Time' services with performance guarantees on packet loss, latency and jitter.
  • Layer 2 connection to run multiple services over the same link (support for Multi-CoS).
  • MEF CE 2.0 certified Carrier Ethernet network.

The Results

Vertel's certified Carrier Ethernet service has proved to be the ideal solution for the AIS and it's members. For the individual schools who operate in regional locations access to a reliable, SLA guaranteed, QoS enabled network has changed the capability these schools have to deliver the latest in education innovation, such as integration with Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet) or high capacity internet services to enable student access to web hosted applications.

High definition video conferencing running over the network has eliminated much of the time and costs associated with staff professional development training, increasing productivity and enabling more teachers to attend more sessions more often.

[Vertel's] great service, saved us some money and increased our speed and provided more optimal utilisation of dedicated video conferencing pipe

Mick Booth
Bishop Druitt College

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