NVT Phybridge Case Study: McKinney ISD

3 minute read time.

McKinney ISD (Independent School District) was founded in 1848 to support local business owners and farmers’ educational needs. Today, McKinney ISD is one of the fastest-growing school districts in Texas, with 68 facilities, including elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, early childhood education centers, and administrative offices.


McKinney ISD relied on an aging analog phone system that was out-of-date, end-of-life, and no longer supported. The school district wanted to upgrade to an IP communication solution across 37 separate buildings.

The school board already had a Fiber backbone that connected each of the buildings. However, the IP devices would also need power, meaning every classroom would require an MDF closet. This solution was not viable due to high costs, network complexity, network security, and safety concerns.

Additionally, many endpoint locations were well outside the 330ft (100m) reach limitation of standard switches. McKinney ISD considered laying new cable, but the $1.1 million price tag was far too high, the deployment times too long, and the project’s return on investment in jeopardy. The school district needed an innovative solution to modernize communication within the defined budget and time frame.


Due to the school district’s challenges, Cisco suggested the PoLRE switch to overcome the digital transformation barriers. The NVT Phybridge PoLRE switch delivers Ethernet and PoE over a single pair of UTP wire with up to 1,200ft (365m) reach, which is four times the reach of standard switches. Cisco was confident in the PoLRE switch and coordinated with NVT Phybridge subject matter experts to present a tailored solution to the customer.

McKinney ISD registered for a free, no-obligation proof-of-concept to test the PoLRE switch in its environment. After a few simple setup steps, the PoLRE switch transformed the existing single-pair UTP cabling infrastructure into a power-packed IP backbone with more than enough bandwidth to support the Cisco IP devices. The school district was impressed with the solution and told its technology provider, CDW, to incorporate the PoLRE switch into the proposal.


McKinney ISD took a pro-active approach to find new and better ways to achieve its digital transformation goals without high costs, complexity, or disruption. CDW used the NVT Phybridge PoLRE switch to deploy over 3,300 phones without ripping and replacing the existing and proven voice infrastructure. Deploying across the 37 locations was quick and straightforward thanks to the PoLRE switch’s repeatable, predictable, and scalable deployment methodology, which further increased time and cost savings for the customer. “Deployment was quick and simple for the installation team,” said Jeannie Newman, Central US Sales Manager, NVT Phybridge. “Our Technical Support Team did an amazing job assisting with configuration over the phone.”

“The installation was really smooth,” said David Spann, CIO, McKinney Independent School District. “The PoLRE switch allowed us to modernize without having to deal with construction. We did our homework. Re-using our existing cabling and turning it into a more secure transmission model was a huge win for us and a huge win for our taxpayers. This really was a win for everyone.” McKinney ISD used the PoLRE switch to achieve incredible results:

  • Reduced infrastructure costs by more than $1.1 million.
  • Reduced the total deployment time by three years.
  • Avoided putting IDF closets in the classrooms.
  • Prevented over 10 tons of cabling e-waste.

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