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GEORGIA SCHOOLS IMPLEMENT NAVINI RIPWAVE TECHNOLOGY.

Georgia's Douglas County School System has implemented wide area wireless broadband technology from Navini Networks. With "Navini Ripwave" technology, students in Douglas County will be able to use their high speed Internet connection beyond school walls when heading back to class in August.

The county, which is 25 miles west of Atlanta, recently began deployment of its own fiber optic network that will eventually link 28 school campuses, as well as county administrative and judicial facilities and public safety personnel. While a number of schools in the United States have deployed Wi-Fi technology to facilitate high speed Internet access, the approach taken by Douglas Country will extend the learning opportunity far beyond school walls. Navini's non-line-of-sight technology offers a range of up to 8 miles from the base station.

"Beyond plain coolness and the simple fact that one base station can service an area of many miles, one of the key reasons we choose to include the Navini Ripwave solution in our infrastructure planning was because it is easy to use and install. Enabling this freedom has to be carefully balanced with a solution that is scalable from our standpoint, but also easy for a school age child or their parents to install and use," said Derek Welch, chief technology officer, Douglas County Schools.

"Our fundamental goal is to improve student achievement, and we see wide area wireless broadband as a way to expand the learning environment," he added.

"From a technical perspective, and based on their customer support, we've been very pleased with the Navini solution. The system has performed at or above our expectations," according to Welch.

Navini and Douglas County officials began working on the project earlier this year, and to assess the effectiveness of wireless broadband in the teaching environment, is conducting trials with two third grade classes.

The next phase which is already in progress is a wider pilot program where students in the trial will receive a Dell laptop computer and a Navini desktop modem at no charge. Douglas County officials plan to have this pilot fully operational when classes start in the fall of 2003.

The Navini-based wireless network will be used to give Douglas County families at-home access to individualized instructional programming, diagnostic and skills-building tools, school based email accounts, parent- teacher communications and a school-filtered Internet portal according to Welch.

"Douglas County officials should be commended for their vision," said Alastair Westgarth, president of Navini Networks. "As a parent myself, I have taken a particular interest in this deployment as it has the potential to enable major positive changes to our national learning environment."

"Wireless broadband is ideal for situations where hardwired cable or DSL infrastructure is just too expensive and burdensome and Wi-Fi hotspots with ranges of a couple of hundred feet would be impractical. Douglas County is a heavily timbered area, so wireless systems that depend on a clear line of sight would not work here. The Douglas County School system is unique in that they are putting wireless on top of a wired network in order to further extend the reach of the technology -- so they are really getting the best of both worlds," Westgarth adds.

The Navini Networks solution, enabled by Multi-Carrier Synchronous Beamforming (MCSB) technology, is a low-cost product that provides high-speed data rates on par with cable modems and DSL, does not require any installation of hardware at a customer premise, allows for non-line-of-sight deployment, and allows end-users to have freedom of movement.

About Douglas County

Douglas County was formed on October 17, 1870, and today comprises approximately 199.3 square miles. The County is included in the Atlanta Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is located twenty-five miles west of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta. According to the 2001 Census estimate just under 100,000 people live in Douglas County. The School District is ranked as one of the 20 largest districts out of 180 in Georgia. The School System provides educational services for approximately 20,000 students in grades PK-12. For more information on Douglas County, visit http://www.co.douglas.ga.us/cgi-bin/MySQLdb?MYSQL_VIEW=/view.txt

About Navini Networks

Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, Navini Networks offers patented wide-area wireless broadband technology delivering multi-megabit speeds to customers up to 8 miles from the base station. Navini provides nomadic, zero-install, non-line-of-sight infrastructure to allow for anytime, anywhere Web access. Navini Networks' Ripwave products consist of a desktop modem or PCMCIA card, base station, and element management system (EMS) and run in the 2.3, 2.4, 2.5/2.6 and 3.5 GHz spectrums. Navini's solution results in a price/performance combination that is superior to other broadband offerings -- wired or wireless -- in the marketplace. Navini's investors include Austin Ventures, Granite Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Sternhill Partners, as well as Alcatel, Intel and Sanmina.

Navini Networks can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.navini.com/.

For more information, call 214/902-1999.
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Title Annotation:Georgia's Douglas County School System
Publication:Modem User News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2003
Words:822
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