IE Teniente Cruz Paredes

The Challenge: Bring Connectivity to School in Need

In the Colombian village of Cumaral, there is a school called IE Teniente Cruz Paredes. The teachers there strive to provide students with a comprehensive education, emphasizing not just intellectual growth but also ethical, emotional, and social development. Their end goal is for students to graduate with all the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive and prosper in Colombia or abroad.

During an event he was volunteering at for the school, FrontierUS Marketing Specialist Abraham Morrison noticed a problem. In many areas of the school, there was no internet access. After talking to teachers and a school coordinator, he discovered that many classrooms were completely lacking internet.

One of the teachers, Diana Vasquez, explained that most teachers at the school were forced to use their personal cell phone data to have basic connectivity in the classroom. Many ran out of cellphone data midway through the month and were then left completely without internet access for weeks at a time. Diana asked if there was any way that FrontierUS could help solve the problem.

Cumaral Students in Gymnasium
Cumaral School Students Dancing

The Solution: A Completely New Network, Donated by Peplink and Implemented by FrontierUS

Diana Vasquez was put in contact with FrontierUS Partner Success Team Lead Calvin Maison. After hearing about these connectivity issues and the effect they had on the school’s teachers, he immediately began to design a solution. He reached out to Peplink’s team and told them the whole story. Then, he asked if they would be interested in donating equipment to solve the school’s connectivity problems.

Peplink Logo

Peplink responded with overwhelming generosity. They donated a powerful router that more than meets the school’s needs. They also provided six enterprise-grade access points to ensure complete Wi-Fi coverage for every single classroom at the school.

Calvin brought the Peplink routers and access points down to Colombia, then assembled the FrontierUS Partner Success Team to configure the network. Thanks to InControl 2, it was possible for FrontierUS Solutions Engineer Topher Lautner to remotely access and configure all of the equipment from the FrontierUS headquarters in Traverse City, Michigan.

Once the routers and access points were configured, all that was left to do was meet with the school’s IT Engineer to install the equipment. Diana Vasquez organized a a working meeting, where the engineer was given a walkthrough of InControl 2 and asked to assist with creating the ideal layout for the network.

While finalizing the network design, it became clear that an additional two PoE+ network switches would be required. Those switches were donated to the school by members of the FrontierUS team, along with over 400 meters of ethernet cable.

The Outcome: High-Speed Internet for Every Teacher, in Every Classroom

For the first time ever, every teacher at I.E. Teniente Cruz Paredes has reliable high speed internet in the classroom. According to the school’s IT engineer, the advantage of the new Peplink network is that they now have better coverage and distribution of internet access and better connectivity with reduced signal and data loss.

Teachers will now have access to new tools and resources in the classroom that were previously unavailable. Before, they struggled to even show students an educational video from YouTube. Now, they can access a vast array of online educational materials, including interactive lessons, educational games, and videos. Online platforms and tools can now be used to facilitate collaboration among students, allowing them to work on group projects, share ideas, and more easily communicate with peers. Being able to integrate the internet into classroom activities will also help students develop essential digital literacy skills.

FrontierUS Partner Success Team Lead Calvin Maison with Diana and School Coordinator
FrontierUS Team with School IT Engineer and Teacher Diana Vasquez

As a bonus, the school’s old equipment was able to be repurposed. Although inadequate for the needs of the teachers, the old equipment was useful for creating a secondary network for students. The school’s IT engineer was able to limit the throughput of the secondary to router to ensure that teachers always have sufficient bandwidth while still providing students with free internet for school projects and making phone calls to their families over WhatsApp.

Diana Vasquez had this to say, after the installation was complete: “My fellow teachers and I are deeply grateful to Peplink for their generous donation of equipment to our school. I also want to thank FrontierUS for making this dream a reality. I was told that the core values of FrontierUS are Dedicated, Caring and Conscientious, and Family. During this project, I have seen all of them in action. Thank you so much!”

Students in Cumaral Dancing

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Diagram of the New School Network

Network Diagram IE Teniente Cruz