Back-to-school bandwidth tips

  • Paying for network capacity on demand offers cost and efficiency advantages to school districts.

  • Network on Demand combines SDN and NFV capabilities to allow for fast and simple bandwidth adjustments in near real time.

Have you ever wished you could scale up your institution’s network bandwidth nearly instantly to accommodate online testing, or scale it down for school vacations—and pay only for what you use?

Now, that capability exists, thanks to a new service from AT&T. For the first time ever, AT&T Switched Ethernet Service with Network on Demand gives customers the ability to scale their bandwidth up or down in near real time using an online portal, without having to make expensive network upgrades.

The solution could be especially useful for school districts, letting them quickly add bandwidth during such high-use periods as online testing—while reducing network capacity when school is not in session.

The solution takes advantage of two emerging networking technologies: software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV). AT&T has incorporated these technologies into its network to create what it calls a Network on Demand capability, enabling schools to request (and pay for) only the capacity they need, and to adjust these settings on the fly.

What’s more, all the infrastructure needed to deliver this functionality is built into AT&T’s own network, so schools don’t need any special equipment to take advantage.

You can read more about AT&T’s Network on Demand capability in this eSchool News story and at AT&T Network Services.


The former Editor in Chief of eSchool Media, Dennis Pierce is now a freelance writer. He has been covering education and technology for nearly 18 years. All opinions are his own.


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