October 18, 2012

Article

Education sector and businesses face similar issues in video trends

As teachers increasingly focus on video streaming and other advanced technological methods in the classroom, the need for network bandwidth in schools is rising. This requirement closely mirrors what is going on in the enterprise, where video is used to engage workers and improve meeting quality, creating new bandwidth demands.

Dealing with video in education
According to a recent Education Week report, the bandwidth problem in education is escalating, despite efforts made to alleviate connectivity issues. For the past few years, the Federal Communications Commission has been working to implement better network infrastructure throughout the country, providing the core cabling infrastructure needed to enable schools and similar public sector facilities to access better resources from a telecom perspective.

While these efforts are admirable, the news source said that studies indicate that more needs to be done. Last spring, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) completed research that indicated that bandwidth increases for schools will not happen linearly, but exponentially. However, the Common Core State Standards initiative analyzed technology trends in schools around the country, finding that next-generation technological deployments in education that promote digital learning tools could push bandwidth needs beyond the exponential growth estimates made by the SETDA.

What this means for businesses
Many teachers are finding that video, especially advanced uses of the technology, can add immersion to the classroom and engage students. Similarly, executives are realizing that they can use enterprise video to improve meeting quality and engage the workforce. In businesses, employee-generated content also offers major potential. However, companies cannot necessarily rely on the FCC to make strategic investments in fiber backhaul to support private companies. Instead, CIOs have to consider ways to adapt their networks for the requirements created by video.

This process of making the enterprise network work with video has two distinct phases. The first is working with telecom services providers to identify bandwidth capabilities, what upgrades are possible and analyzing how video impacts the network. When that is accomplished, turning to a solutions provider for video-specific delivery solutions, such as an enterprise content delivery network, can provide vital support for video, alleviating many bandwidth concerns. In many cases, such a solution provides more relief than implementing bandwidth upgrades. Video can easily use up so much data throughput that a simple capacity improvement does not get the job done.