Situated in Limerick City, Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ is a Catholic Voluntary Secondary School for girls, where Irish is the medium of instruction. In 2016, for the third year in succession, “The Coláiste” was once again ranked as Ireland’s Top School, as per a report compiled annually by The Sunday Times newspaper.
We have been managing “The Coláiste’s” ICT infrastructure for over 20 years and have endeavoured to keep them ahead of the curve by using cutting edge technology and solutions. While other schools were using unmanaged, “Home Specification” WiFi access points, “The Coláiste” elected to implement an enterprise grade, fully managed WiFi solution as recommended and designed by ourselves. This solution was built on an ultra high-speed, managed, 10GB fibre network, which provided both data switching and power to the access points. Crucially, this also delivered enough bandwidth to run as many WiFi enabled devices as they could possibly need for many years into the future, whilst also ensuring the system was readily scalable. Twenty-five access points were used to provide complete coverage to all areas of the school. Bring your own device (BYOD) is fully supported. Amateur, “single password to access” WiFi was not used as this does not offer a suitable level of security. Instead, the WiFi solution is integrated with the existing logon process as used on the PCs thus requiring users to use their regular network credentials to access WiFi , allowing for a greater level of security and stability. This also means that passwords only need to be changed in one place, reducing management and administrative overhead. Extensive logging is available on the system to allow management to check what devices are present, what users are currently connected, and what they are accessing should this be required. Staff and Student’s data traffic is separated on the network. This data segmentation ensures that some devices and resources are only accessible by teachers.
This complete solution has proven to be very successful and we look forward to continuing this professional relationship with Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ for many years to come.