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Jackson, Miss. School District Chooses OpenDNS to Improve the Internet Experience


By Derek Iwasiuk
May 29, 2007

OpenDNS, the award-winning DNS provider that makes the Internet safer, faster, smarter and more reliable, today announced Jackson Public Schools is using OpenDNS as a forwarder to offload its internal DNS servers, making the Internet experience better than ever for its tens of thousands of students and staff and freeing network administrators of the burdens associated with faulty DNS. Jackson Public Schools is the largest kindergarten through twelfth-grade (K-12) school district in the State of Mississippi with more than 32,000 students and 4,500 faculty and staff. OpenDNS is the world's largest, fastest-growing DNS service.

The decision to switch to OpenDNS came after mounting concerns of phishing scams threatening online safety, and a desire for network administrators to spot DNS trends on the district's network. Further, Jackson Public Schools appreciated that OpenDNS makes it easier for students and staff to navigate around worthless content on the Internet, such as pages populated with only ads and error messages.

"We switched to OpenDNS in order to gain more insight into what domains were being utilized, as well as to resolve misspellings and block phishing sites," said Gavin Guynes, Network Administrator for Jackson Public Schools. "Our users are no longer greeted with unwanted errors due to typos, and we are not fielding unnecessary trouble ticket calls due to those typos. This increases end user satisfaction and [network admins'] satisfaction as well."

Jackson Public School's use of OpenDNS means teachers and staff can focus solely on curriculum and enriching students' learning experience with the use of the Internet, instead of restricting access to the Internet because of fear that students will be exposed to inappropriate materials, and consequentially made vulnerable. OpenDNS has provided Jackson Public Schools with 100 percent Internet uptime, freeing students and staff of Internet outages and making them more productive on the whole.

"Reliable connections are the cornerstone of education," said Guynes. "If the connection is not reliable, safe and secure, instructors will not rely on the network for instruction. If it is solid and performs well, they will integrate the technology into their instruction process."

Jackson Public School is a district with 59 schools: eight high schools and a Career Development Center, 10 middle schools, 38 elementary schools, and two special schools. Students are enrolled in grades K-12, with 23 elementary schools offering Pre-K classes. A number of special programs are available to meet students' individual needs. Jackson Public Schools is the only district in Mississippi to offer the International Baccalaureate program from elementary through high school. Every Jackson school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The school district is fully accredited by the Mississippi Department of Education. For more information about Jackson Public Schools, please visit:

OpenDNS ( makes the Internet safer, faster, smarter and more reliable. Based in San Francisco, the company operates a large distributed network that powers a new kind of recursive DNS (Domain Name System) service that provides all Internet users increased security, reliability and performance. OpenDNS is thoroughly committed to building and operating the best DNS platform in the world and to improving the Internet.

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