SPARCC provides wide area network access enabling Internet Connectivity in member districts. This service includes content filtering, firewall protection, distribution of IP addresses, DNS services, web hosting services, Anti-SPAM and Anti-Virus protection. This service includes the distribution of electronic mail messages.
The SPARCC network team has the responsibility for the maintenance of a wide area network connecting each of its member districts via high speed fiber optic circuits to a central network core. The circuits are provided through an agreement with the Time Warner Cable and Massillon Cable companies. These companies provide the circuits with assurances of quality and speed and maintain the fiber optic cables and the accompanying communications equipment to ensure the continuing flow of information.
SPARCC maintains a connection to the Ohio Education Computer Network (OECN) using the Ohio Third Frontier broadband network. The OECN provides SPARCC and other Information Technology Centers (ITC) access to the Internet and Internet2 and obtains network bandwidth at significant discounts because of the size of the purchase. Member districts realize lower fees as a result of SPARCC’s participation in the OECN.
The SPARCC network is structured to maximize access to valuable resources while minimizing the risks to the member districts. Using statistics maintained by OARnet, SPARCC employees monitor bandwidth usage to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to access online resources. The SPARCC network is protected by a firewall which deters malicious access from the outside to district computing systems. In addition, SPARCC maintains a filtering system which prevents access to materials deemed to be inappropriate for usage in schools. Messages flowing through the SPARCC core are examined to isolate malware and prevent its spread to the member districts.
Today, school districts are increasingly dependent upon technology and their networks are increasing in sophistication and complexity. To assist our member districts manage this complexity, the SPARCC office is offering a Network Support Contracted Service.
Under this service offering, a team of SPARCC employees will lend their knowledge and experience to the district so that the schools can successfully implement the use of technology for instructional practices and business operations. First, the team will work with district administrators to develop a plan of action based on the current state of the network and the mission and goals of the schools. On a continuing basis, the team will establish processes to monitor and manage the network, train district employees to deal with day to day operations and meet with school administrators to share information.