Qwest to enhance, run Wyoming education network

Qwest Communications has signed a six-year contract with the Wyoming Department of Education to provide network services for a statewide network connecting more than 400 public schools.

Under the contract, worth about $24.7 million, Qwest will run the Wyoming Equality Network. Qwest created the network in 1998 under a separate contract.

Now the state is upgrading the network to include additional locations, greater bandwidth, enhanced security, voice over IP capabilities, increased scalability and improved network management. WEN connects all of the state's public schools, giving students and teachers Internet access, inter-school connectivity and a connection to the state-wide education network. It also enables about 3,000 hours of distance learning monthly for high schools.

"The Wyoming Equality Network has been heralded as one of the most progressive and effective uses of technologies in national education surveys," said Jim McBride, Wyoming state superintendent of public instruction, in a press release. "We plan to continue our success by working with Qwest to grow the applications and infrastructure of the WEN. We can't overstate the importance of equal access to the Internet, and we're pleased to be among the leaders in the nation when it comes to technology in the classroom.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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