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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Another site visit

I just completed another Extended Outreach Site Visit. Again, a very friendly meeting, but it took over 4 hours. This time they were looking at a leased fiber WAN, so they wanted to see the Internet in action, though they did not ask to see the demarq of WAN link. Since the WAN is district-wide, they picked one school at random and visited that one.

The thing that struck me about this visit was the number of questions which had nothing to do with the FRN, but seemed to be aimed at collecting data concerning what sort of technology schools are installing. The district in question has a 40% discount, so they have never gotten Internal Connections funding, but there were several questions about the network like, "Are you planning to go wireless?" and "Do you have any unused drops in classrooms?"

I'm hoping that last question is aimed at changing the foolish rule that you can't install more drops than you have computers, or can show that you will have the computers within 2 years. What BearingPoint's question will show is that when districts are paying for network cabling themselves, they install extra ports (or at least pull extra wires), because it is the most cost-effective way to cable in the long term.