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education01All college campuses feature Wi-Fi networks throughout their facilities. Wireless is mission-critical for instructional content, classroom programming, and overall lifestyle. The speed and integrity of the Wi-Fi network is a key selling point for many campuses when they are recruiting students.

Campuses with many buildings of various ages and construction, and a mix of venues from large stadiums to individual residences, create unique challenges for wireless network designers. Typically, 100% wireless coverage and uptime is expected. Many of the building are essentially open to the public, so physically protecting WAPs is important.

Installing Wi-Fi in a Campus Environment

It is remarkable how far wireless computing on campus has come in less than 20 years. In the early 1990s, some college campuses were experimenting with wireless computing, with the idea that laptop computers could be carried around campus and remain connected to the network. Those early pioneers struggled with non-standard systems and expensive, proprietary client devices. There were also low baud rate interfaces to the cellular network in select markets. In the mid-1990s, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) created the IEEE 802.11 standard for wireless computing, but even this standard permitted non-interoperable technologies, such as infrared (IR), and different radio frequency (RF) modulation techniques. In the late 1990s, the IEEE 802.11 amendments standardized on an RF (versus IR) carrier, and the Wi-Fi alliance developed interoperability testing. This opened the door for large scale commoditization of the wireless client device, now embedded in virtually every mobile device.

Early campus Wi-Fi deployments focused on wireless signal coverage, extension of the network outdoors, and, in some cases, elimination of cabling in hard-to-cable areas. Today, students and faculty expect robust Wi-Fi throughout their campus for virtually every network application. Wi-Fi deployments are focused on capacity and reliable service, as the wireless network has become mission critical. In some cases, the requirement is to install one wireless access point (WAP) in every residence hall room and multiple WAPs in every classroom, requiring the installation of more wide-bandwidth data cable.

ICT Today July-Aug 2015Please read the full article by Oberon President Scott D. Thompson, published in the July/August issue of ICT Today:

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Read ICT Today at bicsi.org (requires membership)

Mounting Equipment in High-Tech Classrooms

Mount Apple TV, Projectors, and more with Model 1074-PROJ

Classrooms and conference rooms everywhere are being equipped with high definition multimedia projectors and multimedia gateways, such as the Apple TV®, Roku®, and the Google TVTM platform. This technology enables students and participants to wirelessly share content with everyone in the room through the multimedia gateway. The old-fashioned podium with a VGA plug for the instructor is quickly going away. Protecting the investment in new interactive, multimedia education and training is mission-critical.

Read more: Mounting Equipment in High-Tech Classrooms

  • A/V Equipment

    Increasingly, campuses are using Apple TV and other Internet Gateway products for enhanced multi-media capabilities in the classroom. These items should be secured along with projectors and A/V equipment. Oberon offers zone enclosures which are designed to secure Apple TV, projector, WAPs, and other A/V gear in the ceiling of the classroom where it is needed.
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Resources: Education

Oberon for Higher Education & Cisco
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Access Point Mounting Solutions for Outdoor & Entertainment Venues
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$5 Billion in E-Rate Funding for WiFi in Schools
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  Oberon Installing Wi-Fi in a Campus Environment

Oberon Campus-Wide Mounting Solutions