Irving, Texas, Schools Make the Grade With Advanced IP Services, Wireless Netbooks From Verizon

Students, teachers and parents in the Irving Independent School District are leveraging the power of Verizon's advanced networking technologies to work more effectively in and out of the classroom.

Under a $5 million, five-year agreement, Verizon is helping the district move to a modern Internet protocol voice and data platform that will set the stage for new capabilities, like advanced unified communications applications.       

Verizon also will provide wireless-enabled netbooks to middle school children of migrant-worker families who do not have Internet access at home.  The netbooks will enable the students to access school assignments online, and their parents to access school progress reports. Some 25 netbooks have been distributed, with a goal to expand the program.

"Irving ISD is committed to integrating technology into all facets of the educational process - not just the classroom but also the professional development of teachers," said Ray Wierzbicki, group president for Verizon Business government and education markets. "This move to IP, coupled with wireless netbooks, solidifies the school district's reputation as a technology leader."

Verizon, which has a long history with the district located in the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, implemented Verizon Hosted IP Centrex, a network-based voice-over-IP (VoIP) service.  This enables the district to simply and cost-effectively tap into enhanced voice and data applications, such as call control, remote access for teleworking, click-to-dial, auto attendant and Web-based receptionist services.  

Hosted and managed round-the-clock by Verizon, Hosted IP Centrex offers the features of a private branch exchange (PBX) without the associated capital, lease or maintenance costs. All functions reside within the Verizon global IP network, providing reliability and redundancy.

"For years, Irving ISD had maintained three separate phone systems, which were growing increasingly expensive to maintain and were unable to support new applications such as unified communications and collaboration,'' said  Alice Owen, the school district's executive director of technology. "We wanted one system that was managed centrally, easy to upgrade and gave us the flexibility to implement new features. Now that the system is in place, we are looking at deploying unified messaging, starting with some of our key administrators."

Some of the new IP services are made possible through the federal E-rate program. The program, part of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 and managed through the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company, provides assistance for eligible schools and libraries to obtain affordable telecommunications services and Internet access.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, NASDAQ:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 93 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 217,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $107 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.