Widener University Makes Accessing The Internet “Seamless, Secure And Reliable” With Comcast Ethernet Dedicated Internet Service
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Widener needs 24/7 high-bandwidth connectivity Widener University, an eminent metropolitan university with 7,000 students and 800 faculty and staff, is headquartered in Chester, Pennsylvania, with campuses in Exton, Pennsylvania; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware. Distinguished for its commitment to community service and civic engagement in metropolitan Philadelphia, Widener fulfills its educational mission with the help of Comcast Ethernet Dedicated Internet Service.
Perry Drayfahl, Director of Technical Resources, explained the communications challenges faced by Widener and by similar institutions: “It wasn’t long ago that we had 10MB of connectivity, and we anticipated that it would handle our needs,” Perry says. “Today we have a total of 750 MB. We’ve grown from two wireless access points to 450. Our students want the kind of access here that they have at home, so we need to offer a reliable pooled resource that supports their phones, computers and wireless devices.”
Keeping up with bandwidth demand is vital, but just as important to Widener’s mission is reliable access, as Perry and his colleagues learned from experience. “During a recent blizzard we lost our connectivity,” he says. “A snowplow struck a telephone pole and knocked out both our ISPs – that’s how we discovered they were both using the same fiber connection to our campus.”
Comcast Delivers New Reliability And Recovery Capabiities For Widener
Widener’s solution was Comcast Ethernet Dedicated Internet Service, and Comcast’s ability to connect Widener along an independent pathway. “Comcast makes it easy for us to create that bandwidth capacity,” Perry explains, “and they connected with us via their own cabling at its own access point.” That separate access delivers a new measure of safety and security for Widener. “Now, thanks to Comcast, we have redundancy. Even if our data center were to go down entirely, we’d be able to transfer operations and restore service quickly. In addition to all the other advantages we get from our collaboration with them, Comcast adds that disaster recovery capability that we didn’t have before.”
Widener’s secure reliability serves not only its four campuses, but also supports its clients in the Chester area. “We deliver contracted services to several K-12 districts,” Perry says, “and as their provider, we’re committed to demonstrate diligence and support. Their demand is always changing, with all the new devices students think of as basic equipment.”
That connectivity means more than the business relationship. It also supports Widener’s educational mission. “It goes beyond just service provision,” Perry says. “We’re an educational partnership. Our clients tap into the Widener knowledge base. Some of them work with Widener to offer programs to their students that wouldn’t otherwise be available.”
Perry cited implementation as another Comcast plus: “I thought it was easy,” he says. “I was really impressed with the whole Comcast operation. The cutover went smoothly. Sometimes installation can be a headache and it sure wasn’t here.”
“We’re seeking to attract the best and the brightest, so we need to support that quality educational experience with a quality technology experience. It must be reliable in this environment. It has to be seamless, secure and reliable: a given.”
Perry Drayfahl, Director of
Widener’s new reliability and recovery capabilities assure network availability and support for the mission reliability of access for Widener students on four campuses, plus K-12 students in local districts served by Widener’s network Comcast’s ability to connect the Widener campus via an independent route enables Widener students and faculty to have the secure, reliable access to the Internet they expect as an educational resource. As Perry Drayfahl says, “The network is a utility here at Widener. For everyone we serve, access here is as reliable as plugging in a lamp. That reliability also supports the K-12 schools that access the Net as Widener’s paying clients.”
“The students on the Widener network should never know if there is an interruption to their service,” Perry continues. “That’s the goal of any great system.”
Enterprise-Volume Bandwidth To Support Widener’s Mission
The university experience is undergoing a technology-driven transformation, Perry affirms, and Widener is using Comcast Ethernet Dedicated Internet Service to stay ahead of the changes: “The bandwidth students need today is a multiple of what it was just a few years ago,” Perry says. “They’re wired and augmented as never before, and the on-campus requirements exceed any prior expectation. We’re seeking to attract the best and the brightest, so we need to support that quality educational experience with a quality technology experience. It has to be seamless and reliable: a given.
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