Add Dark Fiber to your Back-to-School Shopping List

The fundamental method of teaching our kids hasn’t changed much since the Prussian primary education model was developed in the 1760’s. Hence the persistence of standardized curriculums that homogenize most of the world’s ~1.5B school children into classrooms where students are taught the same lesson solely because they are close in age. Recent advancements in information technology are threatening to disrupt that legacy model. Personalized learning, where students learn through digital applications that leverage AI to generate lessons that adjust to students’ performance in real-time, is becoming increasingly popular. With lessons disseminated this way, teachers will have more time to devote attention to each student and collaborate learning exercises.

Progressive districts across the country are adopting personalized learning strategies aggressively, but the torrent of connected devices flooding schools are rendering administrations unable to keep up with the explosion of bandwidth demand. In a 2016 survey of school district technology officers, conducted by CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking), 68%
 of 
participants 
felt
 that 
their districts 
did
 not 
have 
the
 bandwidth
 to meet their district’s 
needs 
for
 the 
next
 18 months. In fact, according to the CoSN, K-12 bandwidth demand is growing at more than 50% per year. Furthermore, managing increases in traditional bandwidth supplied by service providers can often be cumbersome, time consuming and lead to price changes.

Fortunately, there’s a solution and one that auspiciously is supported by the federal government: dark fiber! While useful in many cases, traditional lit networks are out of the questions for schools as we’re only in the very early stages of personalized learning and traditional connectivity is already cost prohibitive at this stage. Dark fiber on the other hand, allows education intuitions to fully control their own network and scale bandwidth up and down as needed for no additional cost. Financially, schools can secure a long-term solution to their bandwidth costs by leasing dark fiber and distribute the expense across decades – a much more digestible and defensible expenditure than traditional pricing that is subject to change as needs naturally change. To help schools procure their own scalable networks, the FCC added dark fiber to its E-rate program in 2014. This means administrations interested in establishing a dark fiber strategy are well-positioned to draw from the $3.9B in yearly subsidies the federal government sets aside to help schools meet their connectivity needs.

At Axiom, we have the network in place to help one of the most coveted public education systems ensure that there’s enough bandwidth here in New York City to transform the way we learn. Fully operational and efficient, with direct access to all of New York City’s major connectivity hubs, Axiom’s network can enable students, administrators and teachers access to a plethora of apps, services and information – right at their fingertips. A personalized classroom is the future of learning, and Axiom Fiber is here to support it.