Comcast Business today announced that Mercersburg Academy, a private, co-ed college preparatory boarding school in south-central Pennsylvania, is using Comcast Business Ethernet and TV services to support a comprehensive tablet initiative for more than 530 students and faculty. These new high-speed services will help to ensure faster video streaming, better Internet performance and lower communications costs across the school&rsquo…
Comcast Business today announced that Mercersburg Academy, a private, co-ed college preparatory boarding school in south-central Pennsylvania, is using Comcast Business Ethernet and TV services to support a comprehensive tablet initiative for more than 530 students and faculty. These new high-speed services will help to ensure faster video streaming, better Internet performance and lower communications costs across the school’s entire 300-acre campus.
Consisting of 30 school buildings and seven student dormitories in a rural setting about 16 miles southwest of Chambersburg, Mercersburg Academy offers boys and girls ages 14-18 a rigorous and dynamic curriculum alongside a supportive residential environment that prepares them for college and beyond. Students hail from 30 states and 40 countries, and the school has a prestigious list of alumni that includes several Rhodes scholars, 54 Olympians and even a Nobel laureate.
In an ongoing effort to pair its exceptional academic programs with an equally impressive technology infrastructure, Mercersburg Academy requires all faculty and students to use tablets as their primary method of communication. This means that anywhere from 600-700 mobile devices are continuously online at any given time, from virtually anywhere on campus – even outside typical school hours. This required far more bandwidth than what the Academy’s previous 100 Megabit-per-second (Mbps) Ethernet service was capable of providing.
“Comcast Business was able to give us download speeds up to five times faster than what we had before, and the real kicker is that we’re also saving money, which was an added benefit that we did not expect,” said Ryan Bennett, director of technology for Mercersburg Academy. “Our students can now download online productivity apps, access educational videos, and watch movies from streaming services right from their dorm rooms during their free time without experiencing any buffering or caching issues. A few of them have been so impressed with our improved Internet performance that they’ve even gone out of their way to tell us about it, which was something that definitely took us by surprise.”
Mercersburg Academy now includes Comcast Business TV in all its classrooms and residences, as well as a 500 Mbps Ethernet Dedicated Internet line that allows each tablet to stay connected to the Internet and download the latest educational application updates and online tools. The faculty is also benefitting from this high-speed connection with faster access to learning management systems and collaboration portals, which help keep the Academy on the cutting edge of technology.
“Having limited Internet options should never get in the way of allowing schools located in more rural areas – like Mercersburg Academy – to give their students the advanced communications services they need to receive the very best education,” said Dave Dombroski, vice president of Comcast Business in the Keystone Region. “Students have every right to expect the same services in their dormitories as they would have at home, which is why we continue to proactively build out our network to reach as many schools as we possibly can.”
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