Erasmus Darwin Academy improves connectivity and access to online applications with a new high-performance WiFi solution from Redway Networks.

Erasmus Darwin Academy has improved wireless connectivity and digital interaction at the school with a new high-performance wireless solution from education WiFi experts Redway Networks.  The new solution has given the school a robust network capable of controlling and managing all its network devices with uninterrupted access to its student management information system.

Erasmus Darwin Academy is a mixed secondary school that provides pupils with a unique educational experience that blends modern and traditional approaches to teaching and learning. The school takes full advantage of the internet to support its innovative teaching and e-learning practices so a reliable wireless network is vital.   

Existing WiFi causing excessive broadcast traffic

Gareth Hughes, Network Manager at Erasmus Darwin Academy says: “Dependable wireless connectivity is really important for us as staff and management need continual access to our student management information system and we have 550 computers that support over 1,000 students. He continues: “With more teachers using laptops to move around the school and sixth formers bringing their own devices (BYOD) to school our existing WiFi couldn’t cope. The old wireless was causing excessive broadcast traffic and was degrading the whole network.  Due to the intermittent wireless, staff were also having trouble accessing our SIMS system which holds all our student records so constant access is critical for tracking student information.”

Erasmus Darwin Academy identified it needed a new wireless solution so reached out to Redway Networks as it knew the company was a specialist wireless provider to the education sector.

One stop assistance from Redway

Gareth says: “I initially approached Redway Networks for a network audit as I’d heard brilliant reviews about the service and products they offered and as we’re a small team with minimal resources, we need a supplier who could provide us with a ‘one stop assistance’.

Once the audit was complete, it was obvious that the school’s six-year-old Ruckus network couldn’t support its requirements and after a full product consideration the school chose a new Cambium cloud management solution.

Gareth says: “Cambium was a good fit for our school as it had all the enterprise wireless options already enabled and I especially liked the five-year support bundle that came with it”.  

As the existing infrastructure was already in place at the school Redway Networks managed the project to configure the new Cambium access points with the school’s existing infrastructure. 

Redway Networks gives an outstanding service

Gareth says: “The communication from Redway Networks was excellent. They were clear on how the project would be run and assigned us with a project lead who gave us an outstanding service throughout.  The access points were installed during half term and it was an easy switch over.  We were on Ruckus on Friday and when students returned on Monday, we were using our new high-speed Cambium WiFi”. 

Fast, reliable WiFi that keeps pace with the school 

Erasmus Darwin Academy now has a highly resilient Cambium cloud managed wireless solution that provides fast, reliable WiFi with complete control and visibility of the network for prioritising applications and enforcing policies at the edge of the network.

Gareth says: “Our new cloud managed access controls are great as I have full visibility of all the devices on our network and the ability to control applications based on the user, device and location.  This is important for BYOD into school as we can instantly block devices on the network if required.  The access controls also help with troubleshooting, for example, if a member of staff has a technical issue it can be fixed from the web portal remotely”.  He continues: “We can now provide fast WiFi services to all our students, staff and guests through the portal without slowing down our network and students can use applications and digital media without interruption”.

Gareth concludes:” Redway Networks delivered on all its promises and made the switch over to our new wireless a simple process.  Our next project is planned for 2020 and I will definitely be using Redway Networks again as its WiFi expertise and service was excellent”.