Texas school district expands network with MRV's OptiSwitch 304

JANUARY 7, 2009 -- The Mesquite Independent School District has chosen MRV Communications' OptiSwitch 304 optical termination units to manage its network expansion and migration away from expensive leased fiber services.

JANUARY 7, 2009 -- MRV Communications Inc. (search for MRV Communications) today announced that the Mesquite Independent School District in Mesquite, TX, has chosen its OptiSwitch 304 optical termination units to manage a network expansion and migration away from expensive leased fiber-optic network services.

The Mesquite Independent School District (MISD) comprises 31 elementary schools, nine support facilities, eight middle schools, and five high schools, with more than 30,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff at the 53 facilities. Its network comprises two 30-mile arches of 144-count fiber linking to an east and a west hub. The district has two sets of single-strand MRV optics to connect each hub with separate directional runs, forming an asymmetric bandwidth ring.

As the MISD expanded and added sites, it needed to expand its network to reach them, which meant either laying its own fiber or leasing expensive circuits from carriers. With the network management needs and the impending necessity to grow its network to handle converged, bandwidth-intensive services for video in the classroom and other forms of interactive learning, the district opted to implement its own fiber network with the OS304 acting as a media converter between the fiber-based MAN and the copper-based LAN.

"The Mesquite Independent School District encountered a situation in which it needed to grow its network but did not have the infrastructure in place to do so without adding optics or adding expensive leased fibers," explains Noam Lotan, president and CEO of MRV Communications. "The OS304 optical termination unit provides the perfect combination of digital diagnostics and other network management features to integrate seamlessly into existing network environments."

"Every day, we read the digital diagnostics on more than 240 optics, measuring transmit-receive for each one, thereby maintaining the visibility to see the long-term effects of restored fiber after a network problem," adds Clay Cottles, technical services department manager for the Mesquite Independent School District. "The OptiSwitch units, along with the company's consistent ability to guide us to the correct answers, gave us the confidence we needed to go forward with this implementation."

According to MRV, the OptiSwitch family consists of five enterprise-class chassis and two telco-optimized chassis that can host more than 90 types of modules for a range of networking applications. The OptiSwitch family's modular architecture offers wire-speed, non-blocking switching designed for fiber-optic interfaces, VDSL connectivity, optical wireless links, and TDM voice over Ethernet. MRV representatives say the systems are ideal for large enterprises and carriers (broadband service providers) that offer communications services and are looking for fast ROI and a scaleable design. OptiSwitch platforms provide flexible options that enable the building of layer-two transport networks that maintain the security, quality-of-service, and traffic policing rules implemented at the higher layers.

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