Brighton Hill Community School has future-proofed its network and delivered a secure, mobile learning environment for its students and staff with a new Cisco Meraki WiFi 6 solution from Redway Networks. With student numbers doubling in the last three years and plans to reach full capacity in 2022, the school’s aging wireless network needed replacing with a robust, secure wireless solution that would deliver speed and efficiency across the school site to support high-quality teaching and learning.
Brighton Hill Community School is a co-educational secondary school located in Basingstoke, Hampshire. The school has 1100 pupils and 150 staff and prides itself on providing the best teaching and supportive environment where its students can thrive.
Existing WiFi needs replacing
Brighton Hill’s existing WiFi was ten years old and needed replacing with a more reliable, next-generation wireless solution that would deliver sophisticated performance and was built for high density student and staff use.
Tony Eden, IT & Network Manager at Brighton Hill Community School says: “We were having coverage issues with our existing WiFi which had basically come to the end of its life. With our plans to increase student numbers and replace some of our IT computers with laptops and tablets, the first stage of the process was to upgrade the wireless network infrastructure.”
Once the school had determined its requirements, it reached out to Redway Networks as it wanted to use a wireless and networking specialist as opposed to a general IT company. Tony says: “When I spoke to Redway Networks I was really impressed with their technical product knowledge, the advice I received and their approach.”
Brighton Hill selects Meraki
Once Redway Networks had been selected, its engineer performed a predictive WiFI survey using a map of the school’s campus (which includes three separate buildings) to determine the new wireless design, which was verified using Ekahau’s heatmapping software. As Tony is the is the only network manager at the school, Redway Networks knew that having different vendor solutions for WiFi and switching and with no central management would make on-site network management harder, so they recommended a Cisco Meraki cloud-networking solution to deliver a powerful, secure network that could be managed easily from a single cloud dashboard and would deliver reliable connectivity for the school’s ever-growing demand for a more mobile friendly network. Tony says: “I really liked the Meraki product and as it is ‘under one basket’ so to speak, I knew Meraki would deliver a great insight into our network with scalable cross-platform visibility.”
Redway Networks delivers an exceptional service
Redway Networks provided a seamless installation of Brighton Hill’s Meraki cloud-networking solution which included high-efficiency WiFi 6 access points, layer 2 PoE switches and end-point systems management with a 10-year software licence, automatic firmware and security updates and professional services and support.
Tony says: “Meraki has given us a robust, future proofed wireless network that is really simple to use and with the cloud dashboard I can manage the network from anywhere, which gives me more network visibility. We currently have a bit of a hybrid between student laptops and desktops in the IT suites, but the plan is to bring ICT into the classroom environment with the roll out of more laptops, which I know will be seamless with Meraki.
Tony concludes: “The whole experience with our new WiFi from Redway Networks was professional and the service we received was absolutely brilliant. The job was completed on time and the aftercare and support has been excellent.”