Conterra, WTTC/Region 14 ESC Partner to Provide Telecom Network for Students

Three years ago, the wide area telecom network serving schools in West Texas Telecommunications Consortium/ESC-14 consisted of mostly slow and unreliable T-1 connections. Technical Director Steve Simoneau and the WTTC decided to request proposals in 2006 to upgrade their aging wide area network (WAN). Despite the challenging distances and bandwidth requirements between participating district offices, they got both the response and the price they were looking for.

In 2008, more than 40 school district offices in ESC-14 were connected to a new 100 Mbps per location, microwave radio-based WAN. Now the students in these linked locations can enjoy fiber optic speed Internet, distance learning, video field trips and Voice-over-IP communications in their classrooms. All of this new service capability is largely funded through the federal E-rate program.

Conterra Ultra Broadband, an eligible service provider for Priority 1 E-rate services, submitted the winning bid to provide the WAN service upgrade for the WTTC. Conterra is based in Charlotte, N.C., with an office outside of Dallas, and is the largest provider of licensed microwave radio-based WAN services to schools in the United States. Conterra is also deploying a similar WAN for the Region 10 ESC. Simoneau had this to say about the project: “There is always hesitation and doubt when beginning a new project with this scope and complexity. Questions arise as to whether or not you have made the right decision. After dealing with Conterra for the past three years and working closely with them for the seven months of this project, I can confidently say that the WTTC made the right decision in choosing Conterra Ultra Broadband to help build our new wireless WAN.”