BRADLEY — Staff from Monterey County Office of Education’s Information Technology and General Services Department made a site visit to Bradley Elementary School last month in preparation for AT&T’s fiber-optic installation.
The MCOE team included Network Systems Engineer Jonathan Schneider, Network Systems Engineer Ugendra Raj, Manager of Maintenance and Operations Yoshua Belicha, Network Systems Engineer Francisco Garcia and Chief Technology Officer Adam Gavalla.
The work-site preparation on July 26 was required for the completion of the fiber installation, and included installing a small utility box called an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) and crawling into the school’s attic space and climbing roof lines to readjust and mount new cables.
MCOE focused its fiber consortium efforts on rural school districts and has brought high-speed internet to five school districts, including Graves, Lagunita, Mission, San Lucas and now Bradley.
“Throughout and following the pandemic, it became clear that many of our small rural school districts were challenged with insufficient bandwidth to support the modern learning tools that are required for 21st-century education,” according to MCOE.
With Chromebooks and tablets now commonplace in the classroom, schools require much greater connectivity than was previously available.
Many rural schools, like Bradley School in southern Monterey County, had received connectivity from fixed microwave wireless solutions, which rely on outdated equipment.
“With age, these systems began experiencing increased outages and were no longer able to provide sufficient bandwidths to allow all students simultaneous internet access,” stated MCOE. “It was made clear that it was time to modernize and, where possible, provide fiber connections.”
Thanks to the focus of the consortium, five rural school districts now have access to high-speed internet to offer more advanced tools and methods of learning to students.