3.1.7 Servers

LCCD programs can be significantly enhanced through the inclusion of computer servers. These computers are generally more powerful than the LCCDs and provide a range of services, including Internet connectivity, printer sharing, file downloading and disk storage. Assuming such services are desirable, then the cost of the servers, peripheral devices such as printers and networking costs must be factored into the LCCD project.

Since LCCDs do not have sufficient capability to function as servers, most countries use more powerful computers. The price of the servers varies by the amount of RAM, processor speed, disk capacity and computer brand. In some projects, one server is purchased per school. In addition, the purchase of printers and scanners needs to be contemplated, along with consumables such as paper and ink cartridges or laser toners.

Most LCCDs have Wi-Fi capability but require connectivity through an access point to the Internet if there is no mobile network connectivity, which requires both included hardware and an active subscription. Although a server is not needed for Internet connectivity, it can provide additional features such as better network security and management. In addition, performance can be enhanced by storing applications and content on the server for distribution to the LCCDs instead of each student accessing the Internet to download files.

Other costs associated with Internet access include the cost of routers and monthly subscription fees. Depending on the type of Internet access, additional adapters may be required. For example, if the connectivity is through a mobile network, then a wireless network adapter will need to be purchased. Given the added complexity of computer servers and Internet access, some countries have outsourced the support and maintenance of their equipment.

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