Even where schools provided selective wireless coverage, it wasn't unusual for classrooms and similar areas to be fitted with Ethernet connections. But that's not an option for tablets such as the iPad.
Providing solid wireless coverage over a wide area that can accommodate bursty loads imposed by dozens of users in a small area might not be rocket science, but it does need to be done well to get a satisfactory outcome from the perspective of students and teachers.
Last year, Haileybury (an independent school in suburban Melbourne) ran a pilot project deploying 1000 iPads to staff members and to students in years 5 to 11 at the Berwick campus, and then to year 9 students at the Brighton and Keysborough campuses in January 2012.
"We did not have the confidence that our previous wireless infrastructure, which was only 18-months old, would support us to implement the school's technology program," said deputy ICT manager Charles Lloyd.
"It became evident through our investigative process that the Meru Networks solution would enable us to do this."
The installation involved 382 access points, multiple controllers, and Meru's Network Manager and Identity Manager with Smart Connect software.
"Our ability to deliver reliable, high-performance Wi-Fi in such dense and diverse Wi-Fi environments makes us a natural choice for schools," said Adam Smith, Meru's regional sales manager, education.
"Our solutions are designed for simplicity and flexibility and Haileybury School is a prime example that demonstrates our ability to meet the demanding capacity requirements for wireless in school environments."