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Galveston Independent School District Expands Online Educational Opportunities and Improves Disaster Recovery with Comcast Business Ethernet

Comcast High-Capacity and Reliable Ethernet Network Supports Virtual Classes, Online Testing and Disaster Recovery


Houston, TX – August 7, 2012 – Comcast Corporation, one of the nation's leading providers of information and communications products and services, today announced that the Galveston Independent School District (ISD) has selected Comcast Business Ethernet to provide high-capacity, reliable Internet connectivity to support the district’s surging bandwidth needs from its media arts program, virtual classes, online testing, email, website, as well as traffic from students and teachers’ tablets and mobile devices.

Located on a barrier island on the Texas gulf coast, the Galveston ISD serves 6,400 students in 14 schools and employs 1,300 faculty and staff. The district requires a fast, reliable Internet connection to deliver a number of important technology-based programs, such as the Galveston Island Virtual E-School (G.I.V.E.S.), which allows students to take courses online in conjunction with their in-class courses. Reliable Internet is also crucial for supporting Texas’s mandatory annual academic achievement testing which are partially conducted online. The Galveston ISD was devastated by Hurricane Ike in 2008, closing schools for 18 days and leaving three buildings severely damaged. With their new, redundant Internet access, the ISD can greatly reduce the chances of losing internet connectivity for extended periods of time, meaning that virtual classes, district email and the parent Web portal can be brought back online as quickly as possible in the event of another natural disaster

“Every campus and department in this district relies heavily on dependable Internet access, from the superintendant down to each school’s facilities and maintenance offices. Both in daily operations and in the event of a natural disaster, a reliable connection acts as our central hub for communicating with students, parents and staff alike so that we do not fall behind,” said John Mathis, the MIS director for Galveston Independent School District. “In the wake of Hurricane Ike, we quickly realized that our schools needed secure, reliable communications that not only supplied the bandwidth we needed, but also were completely separate from other carriers to give us added redundancy. Comcast provides the connection we need and the peace of mind that comes with it.”

Comcast was originally selected to provide Internet access for Central Middle School, home of the district’s Media Arts Academy, which provides students with access to professional media software and equipment in order to build professional skills suitable for modern careers in the media. Students work with digital graphics, virtual animation, and Web, podcast and video game design while using iPads to track assignments, take notes and study for tests. These activities are often bandwidth intensive as they require the sharing of large digital media files on a regular basis. After seeing benefits at the Media Arts Academy, Galveston ISD expanded their engagement with Comcast and implemented a second dedicated Ethernet connection at their data center, which provides Internet access for 13 additional schools and three district buildings.

“As schools across the country commit to providing their students with the tools needed to be successful in the digital age, access to reliable, high-speed Internet access will be the first step toward building an infrastructure that can handle the devices, online curriculum, and bandwidth-intensive services expected by modern students,” said Ted Girdner, vice president of Comcast Business Services for the Houston Region, which includes Galveston. “The Galveston Independent School District is a perfect example of how educators can leverage Comcast Business Ethernet to ensure that they are a step ahead of the technological needs of tomorrow’s classroom.”

About Galveston Independent School District:
The Galveston ISD serves 6,440 students in 14 schools and employs 1,300 faculty and staff. The district’s mission is to provide a stimulating learning environment with a technological orientation across the whole curriculum, which maximizes individual potential and ensures that students of all ability levels are equipped to meet the challenges of education, work and life.

About Comcast Business Services:
Comcast Business Services, a unit of Comcast Cable, provides advanced communication solutions to help organizations of all sizes meet their business objectives. Through a modern, advanced network that is backed by 24/7 technical support, Comcast delivers Business Internet, TV and Voice services for cost-effective, simplified communications management.

Launched in 2011, the Comcast Business Ethernet suite offers high-performance point-to-point and multi-point Metro Ethernet services with the capacity to deliver cloud computing, software-as-a-service, business continuity/disaster recovery and other bandwidth-intensive applications. Comcast Metro Ethernet services are significantly faster than standard T1 lines and other legacy technologies, providing scalable bandwidth from 1 Mbps up to 10 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) in more than 20 major US markets.

For more information, call 866-429-3085.

About Comcast Cable:
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communications products and services. Comcast is principally involved in the operation of cable systems through Comcast Cable and in the development, production and distribution of entertainment, news, sports and other content for global audiences through NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation's largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential and business customers. Comcast is the majority owner and manager of NBCUniversal, which owns and operates entertainment and news cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, local television station groups, television production operations, a major motion picture company and theme parks.


Media Contacts:

Jason Gass
Davies Murphy Group
781.418.2439

Michael Bybee 
Comcast
713.895.2585

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