New Wifi System Planned for Campus

December 6, 2013

ITS will be rolling out a new wireless network across campus, in order to provide students, faculty, and staff with a more robust wireless infrastructure that utilizes the newest wireless standards and significantly expands the system’s capacity to handle the growth in wireless devices on campus. The new wireless system was selected after an extensive analysis of the college’s wireless networking needs and review of the best available products on the market to meet those needs.

The new wireless system — which is already installed in the Mulva Library and Cassandra Voss Center — will be rolled out campus-wide in two phases. The first phase of the project will begin over Winter break, when the wireless infrastructure in all campus buildings, except residence halls, will be upgraded. This will occur one building at a time, starting with academic buildings — Boyle, Cofrin, Bush Art Center, and Hall of Fine Arts — so that these buildings are ready for the start of the Spring semester. Additional buildings that will be upgraded to the new wireless system during phase one include: Todd Wehr, Bemis, Michels Commons, Main Hall, Campus Center, Schuldes, PAC, Admissions, Birder Hall, HR, Alumni House, St. Joseph, Heating Plant, and Schneider Stadium.

The second phase of the project is expected to be completed during the Summer break (2014), and will include all residence halls: Bergstrom, Burke, Carriage House, Convent, Gries, Lorraine, Madelaine, Michels Hall, MMM, Rectory, Riverside, Sensenbrenner, Town Houses, VMC, and Vander Zanden.

The project will include a 40 percent increase in the number of wireless access points (APs) on campus, bringing the total number of APs to nearly 500. In addition, the new system will feature the latest wireless standard — 802.11ac. 802.11ac wireless is up to three times faster than 802.11n, which is currently deployed in the residence halls, and as much as 16 times faster than 802.11g, which is deployed in academic buildings and elsewhere on campus. This new standard also expands the number of devices that can be supported by each access point, provides a better experience for each connected device, and better supports multiple video streams over the wireless network.

Category: Faculty, Infrastructure Services, ITS Updates, Staff, Students