MHEC selects Walker and Associates for Bandwidth Expansion Options

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An agreement with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and Walker and Associates, Inc. enables entities within 41 states to purchase Ciena's wavelength division multiplexing solutions.

Advancing Education Through Cooperation
Many campuses underestimate these fiber optic needs and multiplexing has been proven to be a more cost effective solution. -Brian Rellinger, CIO, Ohio Wesleyan University

Colleges, universities, K‐12 districts and schools in 41 states can use national distributor Walker and Associates, Inc. for less, thanks to an agreement with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) for Ciena wavelength division multiplexing solutions.

“Colleges and universities have seen the increased growth in communications on their campuses simply because everyone is connected in some fashion through their electronic devices,” stated Brian Rellinger, chief information officer of Ohio Wesleyan University and committee chair of MHEC’s Networking and Services RFP Committee. “Many campuses underestimate these fiber optic needs and multiplexing has been proven to be a more cost effective solution.”

Through the agreement, member states’ higher education institutions, K-12 districts and schools, cities, states, and local governments can obtain Ciena’s wavelength division multiplexing equipment, software, and related services. Ciena’s 6500 packet optical platform converges three comprehensive networking layers into a single platform to provide customizable services from the access edge, along the backbone core, and across regional networks. The agreement also features value-added services such as custom cable assemblies, kitting, material management, integration, and installation.

One of four regional higher education compacts in the United States, MHEC serves approximately 1,000 public and private nonprofit institutions – more than 4 million students. The agreement also extends to the Southern Regional Education Board and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education – 41 states in total.

“Walker is very excited to partner with MHEC to provide world class Ciena DWDM products to schools in order to maximize their fiber deployments and optimize their network,” said Chrystie Walker Brown, CEO of Walker and Associates.

MHEC technology initiatives are guided by Midwestern CIOs, technical experts, and IT procurement professionals, who targeted wavelength division multiplexing hardware as one of the priorities of their Network and Services RFP.

Walker has held contracts with universities in the past for product staging and deployments, as well as service turn up for students and pre-configuration of products.

Availability and options
For additional information on the Walker -MHEC Master Price Agreement, including a detailed list of states and purchase eligibility, visit: MHEC website or

About the Midwestern Higher Education Compact
The Midwestern Higher Education Compact is a nonprofit regional organization assisting Midwestern states in advancing higher education through interstate cooperation and resource sharing. MHEC seeks to fulfill its interstate mission through programs that expand postsecondary opportunity and success; promote innovative approaches to improving institutional and system productivity; improve affordability to students and states; and enhance connectivity between higher education and the workplace. Member states are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

About Walker and Associates, Inc.
Walker and Associates, Inc. is a national distributor of network products for broadband providers, including wireline, wireless, CATV, government and enterprise network operators. Walker’s extensive range of products from over 250 suppliers facilitates carriers’ delivery of high speed internet, video, data and voice services to residential, business, and mobile users.

Walker supports technologies such as Switching, Routing, Wi-Fi, Microwave, NFV, Carrier Ethernet, VoIP, WDM, ROADM, Packet Optical Networking, SDN, Access Technologies such as GPON, Active Ethernet, Fixed Wireless, DSL, and more. Additionally, Walker provides physical plant products including fiber/copper connectivity, power systems, indoor/outdoor enclosures and outside plant products.    

In addition to supplying material, Walker simplifies network deployment through services such as product engineering, expert installation, systems integration, pre-configuration and managed services. In an advisory capacity, Walker helps network designers make wise product selection decisions for optimum network performance, scale and operating cost. In a hands-on capacity, Walker kits, integrates and installs products to efficiently deploy networks.

Walker performs important promotional, logistics and technical support services for its manufacturer base, reaching ten telecommunications sub-markets and over 1200 domestic customers. Walker is TL9000/ISO 9001/2008 quality certified, and is a certified women-owned corporation.


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