Verizon Business completed the installation of a voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) platform and is deploying wireless local area networks (LAN) for each school campus in the Sherman Independent School District (ISD) in North Texas. The services will be provided under a new agreement that expands the company’s decade-long relationship with the district.

“The district is converting all locations to voice over IP, and it has been very successful,” said Mignon Plyer, the Sherman school district’s director of technology. “As part of this new system, we can deliver voicemail to teachers—a feature that parents really like. What began as a vendor relationship has developed into a real partnership.”

In addition to the new VoIP and wireless capabilities, Verizon Business enabled the district to use its data network for a wide range of administrative and educational functions, including processing cafeteria transactions, tracking library books and distance-learning activities in the classroom. The wireless-access points Verizon installed provide students and teachers with greater flexibility by enabling them to access the network and to use laptops on district campuses.

“Sherman ISD has been a leader in the use of technology to make sure students have access to the necessary resources, both on and off campus,” said Alex Coleman, group president for Verizon Business government and education markets. “Sherman school district students and teachers will have state-of-the-art IP technology with wireless access—tools to help expand the educational experience for the entire district.”

Some of the new services and network expansion are made possible through the federal E-Rate program. The program, created as part of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 and managed through the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Co., provides assistance for eligible schools and libraries to obtain affordable telecommunications services and Internet access. Verizon Business has more than 10 years of E-Rate experience in working with K–12 clients nationwide.