North Texas districts pick dark fiber service through E-Rate


An educational agency that provides professional development and technical assistance to 77 public school districts in north central Texas has selected a dark fiber network for its districts, using E-Rate money.

Texas Education Service Center Region 11, which serves more than 600,000 students and educators, selected Zayo Group to provide the solution. The Denver, Colo.-based company provides fiber, bandwidth, colocation and cloud services.

“Our current solutions caused bandwidth to throttle and the network to experience congestion, which restricted us from using educational tools and technology that are vital to our curriculum,” said Rory Peacock, deputy executive director for Technology Services at ESC Region 11. “Zayo’s infrastructure offers a high-capacity, cost-effective solution and will enable us to scale as bandwidth demands continue to grow.”

The dark fiber will connect 122 locations in 77 school districts across 10 counties in Texas. The project will require nearly 300 miles of new construction, but it uses 440 miles of previously planned FTT build and 443 miles of existing network. School districts will have 100 gigabit per second internet connectivity.

Previously, the districts typically relied on legacy copper networks and wireless or patch solutions. With the E-Rate program, school districts and libraries are able to apply for federal subsidies for broadband and infrastructure to provide high-speed internet connections.

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