The Howard County Government and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) have collaborated to make a series of infrastructure enhancements needed to sustain the hybrid learning model.
These enhancements significantly increase the bandwidth available in schools, allowing for the continued use of Google Meet video tools to provide instruction to students who participate virtually in instruction simultaneously with students in the classroom. The county and the HCPSS implemented several strategies to increase internet bandwidth and mitigate potential problems. The measures taken include:
- Doubling the bandwidth available to HCPSS by splitting network traffic into two additional internet pipelines
- Partnering with Network Maryland to increase the amount of internet access available to HCPSS
- Transitioning most elementary schools to Howard County Government’s network for Google Meet sessions, reducing the impact on the HCPSS network
- Establishing a new fiber internet connection prior to the return of the final cohort to in-person instruction
- Adjusting Howard County Government processes to make additional bandwidth available for HCPSS
Additionally, HCPSS has blocked access to non-instructional video streaming sites, reduced Google Meet video quality while still meeting acceptable standards and collaborated with the County to optimize the Google Meet video configuration.
HCPSS has not experienced problems related to inadequate bandwidth availability since the return of students to in-person hybrid instruction.