Alabama's Madison Academy Launches Gigabit Internet with WOW! Business

  • WOW! Business
HUNTSVILLE, AL — Madison Academy in Huntsville, a Christian-based pre-K through high school institute, is continuing its dedication to academic innovation by upgrading its fiber-based dedicated Internet access service from 200 Mbps to 1 Gbps with WOW! Business, a communications and broadband network provider with strong ties to Huntsville.

The increased speed will help Madison Academy implement new digital learning tools, offering new online and classroom curriculum, while attracting more students and adding two wings to its 160-acre campus. "As documented in one of our seven principles, Madison Academy is committed to providing the technology, curriculum and professional development to challenge and prepare today's student for success in college and tomorrow's workforce," said Madison Academy President Dr. Barry Kirkland.

Apple Distinguished School
Madison Academy is Alabama's first Apple Distinguished School and provides every student with an Apple laptop or iPad. Teachers have virtual classrooms, blogs, online video learning tutorials and other curriculum that requires reliable Internet access and sufficient, flexible bandwidth capacity that can easily scale as needed.

In addition to 1 Gbps Internet service, WOW! Business provides Ethernet, PRI voice and video services to Madison Academy. Originally on coaxial cable connections, WOW! Business built a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) solution connecting two campus locations and the Corral, a multipurpose student service center. To further enhance the educational use of technology in the classroom, Madison Academy and WOW! Business are collaborating to build-out a fiber connection to another building, enabling the school to have three wide-area network (WAN) sites.

"Last summer we upgraded to 200 Mbps Internet service with WOW! Business but recently have been peaking at that level and needed to increase our bandwidth to 1 Gbps now to prepare for the next school year and beyond," explained Brian Tissue, director of technology and network infrastructure for Madison Academy. "We're adding two more wings to our campus next year, which made it crucial to scale our WAN infrastructure to accommodate our growth, and to ensure that our students, faculty and administrative staff have the Internet speed they need to accommodate our existing and future requirements."

Construction of the two new wings — one for the school's new STEaM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) programs and a second one that will be a performance center are important elements in the school's vision. The performance center will open in the fall of 2016, and construction of the STEaM facility will proceed when funding is in place.

"We have found that today's technology businesses have a critical need for people with artistic skills, especially graphic art and animation," Tissue added. "When the STEaM wing is completed, students will learn about robotics, engineering, 3D printing, cybersecurity and other advanced curriculum. The jump from 200 Mbps to 1 Gbps will help support the new STEaM programs, enrollment growth and more curriculums becoming web-based, benefitting both students and faculty."

"Some of the key differentiators that set WOW! Business apart from other Huntsville service providers, largely because we own and operate our own local network in the city, include our ability to provide fast, scalable bandwidth and high-performance voice services," said Herb Keefer, Manager, WOW! Business Services. "We also offer a dedicated technical and customer support team so that Madison Academy knows who to contact if they have questions about their services or need a rapid response to quickly resolve any issues that may arise."

The local WOW! Business network is currently capable of providing 10 Gig dedicated Internet access to businesses and government organizations in Huntsville, allowing the ability to transport extremely large amounts of data rapidly, reliably and with unsurpassed quality and security. In 2014 WOW! established a service delivery center in Huntsville and currently has approximately 200 local employees to meet rising demand for residential, small and medium-sized business (SMB), enterprise and wholesale communications services.


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