Wireless issues resolved at Lonsdale

Wireless issues resolved at Lonsdale

Upgrades now at Central, LHS

LINCOLN – School leaders are working with Cox Communications to ensure that the wireless internet issues experienced at Lonsdale Elementary School will not be felt across the district as it transitions to a new internet provider.

Lonsdale, the first school in the district to make the switch over to Cox, experienced what Supt. Larry Filippelli called “some major hiccups” during the process.

The decision to upgrade the district’s internet service was made last year, before the coronavirus outbreak forced students and teachers into distance learning. When COVID hit, Filippelli said there was a backlog on supplies, delaying the start of the conversion.

Making the switch is a cost-effective move for the district, Filippelli said, because Cox will own and maintain the equipment.

“If something breaks, it’s not on the School Department,” he said.

At Lonsdale, Filippelli said there were software and engineering issues during the switchover to Cox that eventually prompted him to contact Gov. Gina Raimondo’s office for help. Within an hour or so of doing so, Filippelli said a representative from Cox was on the line prepared to guide them through the challenges.

Filippelli said he contacted the governor’s office because the district was “getting ready to roll out a major move to virtual learning, when suddenly we had parents unable to log in from home and teachers who couldn’t project the classroom into their homes … the bandwidth couldn’t handle it.”

Once the issue was elevated at Cox, Filippelli said “things started to resolve really quickly.”

Filippelli and school officials have met with the company to discuss upgrading the network at the remaining schools, and the superintendent said Cox has promised that the rollout will go much more smoothly next time.

“I needed assurances from Cox that we wouldn’t have a repeat of Lonsdale, especially now that we’re really deep into virtual learning,” he said. “We made it clear we couldn’t continue to switch over until we were 100 percent sure we were OK.”

He said he’s optimistic that the rest of the rollout will be smooth. The next schools up for upgrades are Central Elementary and Lincoln High School, while the remainder will be finished next year in phase two.