Yonkers Public Schools Get Wired

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Yonkers Public Schools Get Wired

Bell Atlantic Helps Bridge Digital Divide

March 29, 2000


John Johnson, Bell Atlantic,

Ray Willis, Yonkers Public Schools,

YONKERS, N.Y. - Students and teachers in every Yonkers classroom now have the Internet at their fingertips thanks to the completion of a $7 million telecommunications project unveiled today by Public Schools Superintendent Andre J. Hornsby and Bell Atlantic.

Begun last August and funded by federal grants, the project is part of a district-wide $24 million technology plan and one of the most ambitious ever undertaken by a New York school district. It encompasses 41 schools, more than 6,000 computer workstations and will enhance the education of all 26,000 students in the district, the fourth largest in the state.

Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group designed, engineered and installed the Wide Area Network that now interconnects teachers, students and administrators at facilities scattered throughout Yonkers, creating dramatic educational opportunities and administrative efficiencies for the school district. The massive job included placing more than two million feet of copper wire and 12,000 feet of fiber optic cable to link 6,000 computer workstations in 1,000 classrooms. The wiring includes providing each station with both voice and data connections.

"Bell Atlantic has worked tirelessly to complete this project in record time," said Superintendent Hornsby. "They stepped into a work-in-progress and completed in months what's taken other school districts years to accomplish."

Bell Atlantic also is providing high-speed Internet access, the industry's most sophisticated data security system, and ongoing maintenance of the Yonkers network.

"Installing 21st Century technology in school buildings that date back as far as the late 1800's challenged our network systems engineers to be very creative," said Bell Atlantic Data Solutions Group President Ted Raffetto. "Many of the buildings pre-date the dropped ceilings that we take for granted today, so 50,000 feet of molding had to be used to conceal exposed wiring."

Cindy Joffrion, assistant superintendent for technology support services, spearheaded the effort to connect each of the 6,000 workstations to the Wide Area Network. "With a student to workstation ratio of four-to-one, and as many as five computer workstations per classroom, Yonkers is well positioned to provide students with the most technologically advanced education in the nation," she said.

In addition to bringing the vast resources of the Internet into the classroom for instructional and research purposes, the Wide Area Network will facilitate closer collaboration between teachers at schools throughout the district. Moreover, the ability to access data and share records will provide efficiencies for the district's central office.

"The Internet has the power to break down the walls of the classroom and take students and teachers on educational journeys throughout the world," Raffetto said. "We are pleased to provide the connections and ongoing maintenance that make this possible, so that those journeys will be limited only by the imagination and ingenuity of Yonkers children."

Bell Atlantic's Data Solutions group (www.ba-dsg.com) provides globally integrated network solutions that seamlessly connect businesses with their customers, partners and employees. The Data Solutions Group provides all aspects of data networking from the management and operation of customer networks and network integration, to network transport and advanced IP services, such as intranets and extranets, virtual private networks, web hosting and multimedia services.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations and investments in 23 countries.

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