Bandwidth Sloa-‘n CACHEBOX fast
ApplianSys is pleased to announce that Westwood Community School District in Sloan, Iowa has accelerated slow classroom content without spending more on costly bandwidth, thanks to CACHEBOX.
Having launched a 1:1 program and equipped its 500+ students with Chromebooks, iPads and laptops, Westwood noticed that vital learning content from the web was slow. This was despite having a 150Mbps internet connection – equivalent to 287 kbps per student – that put it well ahead of other districts in the United States.
Online videos were taking a long time to load at the start of lessons, as whole classes tried to access the same content at the same time. Students were becoming disengaged, and teachers were having to adapt their lesson plans.
Westwood was already spending $3,000 per month on bandwidth in its rural location, equivalent to over $20/Mbps. And with slow content often caused by factors beyond bandwidth, such as slow content servers and poor protocols upstream, the district realised that buying more capacity would yield very little return on investment.
Needing better value for money and more guaranteed speed increases, Superintendent Jay Lutt and the school’s Tech Contractor Mike Buth worked with ApplianSys to implement a web caching solution instead.
Since deploying CACHEBOX, up to 53% of content is now regularly served from cache – freeing up more bandwidth for other content. And by storing a local copy of the content being requested, it can be delivered over the LAN – at LAN speeds – avoiding the external causes of slow content.
“Despite having relatively high bandwidth, Westwood’s caching reports show the speed of PBS Kids content from the internet averages just 62Kbps, compared to 541Kbps from CACHEBOX. That’s over eight times faster. Some sites show even higher peak speed increases, highlighting that constant bandwidth upgrades are often not the best way to achieve faster content delivery”, said CACHEBOX Consultant Sophie Clark.
Westwood Community School District in Iowa serves the small towns of Holly Springs, Hornick, Salix, Sloan and Smithland – all located around 20 miles south of Sioux City. From a single campus in Sloan, the district caters for 500 students in 2 schools, elementary and secondary.