Wireless solutions for schools
Following the expansion of 1:1 Computing, Redway Network’s wireless expert Lee Wright answers questions on how to improve your college or school WiFi.
What does Redway Networks offer to schools and colleges?
We deliver bespoke wireless solutions that support all the high-density connectivity needs of educational establishments today. These enterprise-grade solutions can be managed remotely so schools have complete network security and peace of mind.
Explain the difference to installing WiFi within a school than an office?
The biggest differences are capacity and security. For example, a classroom can easily have 30+ active devices connected to the WiFi, whereas an office of the same size might only have 6-10 desks. Schools need to make sure their wireless network has the capacity to deal with all those clients and still deliver a superior performance that won’t interrupt teaching and learning. In addition, in an office environment it is common to have open SSID for guest users, with trust given to employees that this SSID won’t be abused. In a school the levels of safeguarding and security have to be raised to ensure the network is being used in the way it was intended.
What challenges do education establishments typically come up against?
The schools and colleges we work with want to improve WiFi connectivity in terms of performance, coverage, and capacity. They also want to achieve better visibility and management of the network – all whilst working within a budget. We have the tools to design a wireless network that delivers hyper-reliable school WiFi. We use our education sector experience and in-depth product knowledge to find the right vendor that meets both the budget and technology requirements of our customers.
How does Redway help schools and colleges choose the right wireless technology?
We spend a lot of time working with schools to understand their requirements. We have also invested a lot of time and money in training with many of the world’s leading wireless technology vendors. All our engineers are qualified to the highest standards and understand that every school is diverse and every WiFi vendor is different. It’s only when you understand both fully, you can make the expert decision in finding the right overall WiFi solution.
Explain what makes Redway’s wireless solutions stand out.
Definitely our educational sector knowledge and our focus on customer engagement – we call it the ‘Redway Experience’. We have a highly technical sales team which means that from the first conversation we have with our clients, they feel confident in our ability to understand their needs and advise the next steps. We focus on consulting our clients at every stage of an installation to make sure their input helps drive the project forward. We also understand that a WiFi solution is only a real success when it responds to our clients’ needs; not when we complete the installation. Our engineers offer extensive post-installation support that guarantees the performance the school or college needs beyond project completion.
Do you have any tips to give schools looking to improve WiFi connectivity?
Yes definitely, my top 5 would be:
1. Ensure whoever you work with has taken the correct steps in designing your network.
2. Make sure you understand the WiFi vendor you’re using. Are they the best fit for your needs?
3. Validate the design after installation with a site survey
4. Ensure you understand how to use your WiFi controller so you can monitor performance over time.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Can you provide a recent example of helping a school with digital transformation?
Yes, Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School. Its current wireless network couldn’t support its technology and capacity needs and this was limiting digital teaching and learning. With the school closed due to COVID-19, we conducted a heat mapping survey to configure the WiFi infrastructure. Once the design was agreed and the technology chosen, we installed a hyper-reliable WiFi 6 solution that will enable technology-driven teaching and learning for years to come.
Lee Wright is an expert in designing and installing cloud-managed enterprise-grade wireless solutions. In addition to his sector and technical product knowledge, he holds the following wireless qualifications: Certified Wireless Network Administrator (CWNA), Certified Wireless Design Professional (CWDP) and Certified Wireless Security Professional (CWSP).
If you would like advice on how to improve your school WiFi, Lee is currently offering a free remote heat mapping survey to offer guidance and advice. This can be booked by contacting us.