SPIE and Oledcomm deploy LiFi technology in a secondary school in the Centre-Val de Loire region

Published on 22 October 2020

Malakoff, 22 October – SPIE ICS, the digital services subsidiary of the SPIE Group, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, and the French start-up Oledcomm, the world leader in LiFi technology, have been selected by the Centre-Val de Loire regional authority to install LiFi technology in one pilot secondary school, to allow students to connect to the internet using light. More secure and more environmentally friendly, LiFi is a reliable and promising alternative to WiFi.

The first secondary school in Europe with a classroom that is fully equipped with LiFi

Keen to ensure equal access to digital technology for young people in rural areas, the Centre-Val de Loire regional authority wanted to propose an innovative experiment in a pilot institution, Bernard Palissy secondary school in Gien, for the installation of LiFi technology in a classroom. The regional authority chose SPIE ICS and its partner Oledcomm, a supplier of LiFi technology made in France, to adapt the equipment of the two pilot institutions to make it compatible with this alternative form of communication.

LiFi technology is very easy to use and is added to existing equipment. Our assignment was to adapt the IT infrastructure and terminals to make the use of LiFi possible. This project immediately won the support of all the institution’s teams”, explains Sébastien Lascombe, a SPIE ICS Business Engineer and the project manager.

LiFi, the key benefits

· Security: the authentication built into the LiFi stick used to access the institution’s network is personal. Since LiFi does not pass through walls, the signal cannot be hacked from outside of classrooms.

· Stability: each user in the class has a powerful individual connection that does not fluctuate, allowing them to work in peace.

· No exposure to waves: LiFi uses light waves to communicate instead of radio waves.

· Cost: LiFi could eventually make it possible to pool the costs of installing and operating lighting and computer data transmission by reducing the number of WiFi relays required in indoor reception areas.

· Low energy consumption: combined with LED lighting, LiFi is a low-energy light source and thus an environmentally friendly technology.

The Oledcomm team is proud to contribute to the digital transition of secondary schools by providing an innovative, secure and sustainable connectivity experience in the classroom for students and teachers alike”, adds Benjamin Azoulay, Chief Executive Officer of Oledcomm.

A Green IT master plan for the Centre-Val de Loire region

A second POC[1] will start on All Saints’ Day at the Documentation and Information Centre (Centre de Documentation de d’Information - CDI) at Grandmont secondary school in Tours. The plan is to equip open access laptops with LiFi technology and to test them with students, teaching staff and teachers.

The Centre-Val de Loire regional authority intends to go further in this approach: a Green IT master plan is being analysed in order to improve the offer of digital services under the best possible conditions while respecting the environment. It concerns 40,000 workstations in the region.

François Bonneau, President of the Centre-Val de Loire regional authority concludes: “Secondary school is a showcase for the evolution of society. We are proud to be among the first local authorities to propose such an innovative experiment in a school. We have built this project with SPIE ICS and Oledcomm, a long-term collective effort to imagine the secondary school of the future.

[1]A proof of concept