Why Are Albemarle County Schools Building a Fiber Network?

Why is Albemarle County building their own private fiber network? I noted in early 2014 that Albemarle County Schools were looking for money to build a dark fiber network; now it’s real. Charlottesville Tomorrow reports that the school division is building “its own private network.”

Broadband access increases property values, that’s simple.

Why not parter with a company that actually does this? Like Ting/Blue Ridge Internetworks, Centurylink or (shudder) Comcast?

Why?

So the schools can:

1) provide access to those who don’t have access and

2) monitor what the families are doing? What kind of Internet is this?

Scheivert said students now will be able to have “school at home.”

“If you’re in middle or high school, you’ll have your school computer, it’ll connect to the school network and you could be at your house or your neighbor’s house,” Scheivert said. “You’ll have all your files, all your resources, and we’re still blocking [what is blocked at school], we’re still monitoring communications.”

So there’s fiber less than a mile from my house …

Western Albemarle High School, Brownsville Elementary and Henley Middle School all are connected to fiber that runs into downtown Crozet. When local government completes the Crozet Streetscape Project this fall, that fiber will be linked to fiber that follows U.S. 250 from Charlottesville to Miller School Road.

 

1) I can’t access it because it’s for the County schools.
2) I wouldn’t because it’s “monitored” by the schools.

 

Update: as is often the case (and an argument that I won’t ignore for much longer) – there are some great comments on my facebook post about this.

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4 Comments

  1. Stormy June 29, 2015 at 08:34

    On the other hand, think of what this will do to the concept of snow days. If you’re connected, you can still have class, complete assignments, etc. Snow days go out the window.

    Reply
    1. Jim Duncan June 29, 2015 at 09:03

      Right … I can think of a couple constituencies that would be vehemently opposed to that.

      Reply
      1. Rider1 July 20, 2015 at 06:12

        I fear that all schools everywhere are moving toward a flipped classroom model with more and more online content and less actual real classroom instruction. It cuts cost but I am not convinced serves the student well.

        Reply
        1. Jim Duncan July 25, 2015 at 09:19

          Agreed. Losing human interaction is something that will ultimately harm our education system.

          Reply

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