Humboldt County School District Superintendent Dr. Dave Jensen announced that the district had received grant funds to upgrade fiber connections between the schools.
Jensen told the trustees that the district submitted an application for $467,000. “We were fully funded, and this is going to update the fiber between all of our schools,” he said. “ More importantly, it's going to allow us to create microwave connections from here to our rural schools and we'll be able to drop Humboldt Telephone and we will have high speed connection to all of our rural schools and we can do it completely through a grant.”
In a separate interview, Jensen said, “We've had fiber for years in the district in order for to facilitate our instructional models, but the fiber is now obsolete.”
Jensen said the upgrade was the least expensive component. The district plans to tie the system to the county’s microwave system. The new system will use the various towers that are located throughout the county by bouncing the signal from tower to tower to school.
The grant will allow the district to not only upgrade the fiber optic but also enhance speed across the infrastructure.
“We're going to significantly increase our speeds to our rural schools,” Jensen said, adding that “broadband is always an issue because there just isn't that ability to run fiber to those locations. We're doing the best we can but it's not comparable to what we can offer our students here in Winnemucca.”
The move to upgrade the fiber is an effort to bring more technology into the classroom to facilitate the district’s personalized initiative. “We talk about a 21st century learning environment with access to technology and research,” Jensen said. “Connectivity is an essential component of it.”
According to the Federal Communications Commission, the term broadband “commonly refers to high-speed Internet access that is always on and faster than the traditional dial-up access.” It includes high-speed transmission technologies such as fiber, wireless, and satellite.