The Abbotsford School District in the city of Abbotsford, BC, has about 18,500 students and 2,100 teachers and staff at its 46 schools. Every classroom has wireless devices, including document cameras, projectors, and a laptop/desktop for the teacher. The district also provides tablets, laptops, and lab devices for students—about 10,000 devices in total.
The district’s network was under siege. Students were flooding the network with their cell phones, taking up valuable bandwidth needed for instruction and putting the network, students, and the district at risk. Moreover, passwords to school-owned devices were constantly being compromised, allowing unknown devices onto the network, and the IT department had no way of identifying the devices or their owners. “We had to send teams out to reset passwords—it was unworkable,” says Shelley Wilcox, Director of Technology at Abbotsford School District. “We needed a solution that would give us better control of our network—a solution that would tell us who’s trying to connect and then could automatically route them to the right network. We also needed to be able to track devices as they moved around the district and locate them if used inappropriately.”