Noble Public Schools' Journey to High Speed Success with OEC Fiber
The face of education has changed in recent years. Overhead projectors have given way to smart boards, and textbooks have become laptops. The digital age of education requires a superior internet connection. Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the halls of Noble Public Schools.
“We have about 5,000 devices connected at any given time,” said NPS technology director Austin Baze.
Things have certainly changed since NPS built its first building in 1897. None of the administrators whose photos line the halls could have imagined the state of the modern classroom.
NPS is one of several schools issuing laptops to their students instead of textbooks. Every student, Pre-K through 12, is given a Chromebook for the school year. This laptop allows them unlimited access to the materials they need throughout the year without the bulk of heavy textbooks that could be outdated.
Wi-Fi-enabled technology is prevalent in NPS classrooms. Online classroom management programs allow teachers to share materials, assignments and progress reports with students and parents.
“A lot of [teachers] are using Google Classroom or Canvas,” said executive director Nathan Gray.
Many of NPS’ elementary school classrooms also have smart TVs. With the implementation of this technology comes increased demand for the school’s internet service.
“We’ve seen exponential growth as far as online application use in the classroom,” Baze said. “With every additional device, there’s that much more bandwidth required to run it. It’s vital that you not only have the speed but that it’s reliable. Reliability is another key success factor that’s often understated. Without it, people lose faith.”
Any school network disruption can result in a complete classroom shutdown. Teachers are not able to access their lesson plans. Students lose access to their assignments. One minor blip in service can quickly become an all-hands-on-deck emergency for the entire school.
“Occasional service disruption becomes catastrophic very quickly,” Gray said.
The need for reliable high-speed service is why we built OEC Fiber. Their dedication to providing high-quality service has led to them being awarded Best Internet Provider in Oklahoma by The Journal Record two years in a row. More than their excellent service, their team is dedicated to ensuring every subscriber has the service they deserve.
“We had some particular needs that had to be addressed, but they accommodated them,” Baze said.
One of the hallmarks of OEC Fiber’s offerings is the unwavering dedication of the business team to ensure no stone goes unturned in providing top-tier, white-glove service to their subscribers.
“Every business is different,” said OEC Fiber senior manager of sales and business development Michelle Hohlier.
“We come alongside them and get to know them and their needs. We partner with them to develop the plan and service that best fits their needs.”
On the rare occasion, an issue does arise, having a local provider like OEC Fiber makes the difference between minutes or hours without service.
Unreliable broadband service could cause a loss of an entire day’s instruction. OEC Fiber’s team proactively monitors and supports the service, which we cannot undervalue.
“I rebooted a firewall, and OEC Fiber called within five minutes,” Baze said.
Constant system monitoring alerted OEC Fiber to their server going down. Technicians immediately contacted NPS to ensure there were no problems with the service. This rapid response increases the value and reliability of OEC Fiber’s service across the board.
As demand for service in the classroom continues to rise, OEC Fiber stands poised to meet the challenge.
“They met everything,” Gray said. “I don’t regret the decision to move [providers] at all.”
Today’s classroom is vastly different from that of years past. Almost all aspects of education incorporate internet enabled technology. Coming alongside schools like NPS to provide reasonably priced, reliable, high-speed service fills all associated with OEC Fiber with pride. It is an investment in the future of the communities they serve, one whose impact will be felt for decades.
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