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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 APs is important.

Installing Wi-Fi in a Campus Environment

It is remarkable how far wireless computing on campus has come. 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 (AP) in every residence hall room and multiple APs 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:

pdfDownload the PDF

Read ICT Today at bicsi.org (requires membership)

Featured Products - Education

  • 1020-00
    13.4 in. Skybar™ NEMA-4 Plastic WiFi Access Point Enclosure with Opaque Screw-on Cover

      Oberon symbol  Spec Sheet
  • 1047-CCOAP3800
    Locking Suspended Ceiling Tile WiFi Access Point Enclosure with 18.5 x 18.5 x 3 in. Back Box / Cisco 2800 & 3800 Series AP Door

      Oberon symbol  Spec Sheet
  • 3030
    12.5 in. Diameter Netpost™ Heavy Duty Fiberglass WiFi Access Point Bollard / Standard Style / Black / 57 in. Height

      Oberon symbol  Spec Sheet
  • Heritage Buildings

    Many campuses have older “heritage” buildings which require special consideration of an architectural and aesthetic nature. This can include museums, libraries, and administration buildings. Oberon offers a wide variety of products to help the AP “blend in” to the environment, including recess wall mount enclosures and paintable vanity covers.
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Resources: Education

Oberon for Higher Education & Cisco
pdfDownload the PDF

Access Point Mounting Solutions for Outdoor & Entertainment Venues
pdfDownload the Article

$5 Billion in E-Rate Funding for WiFi in Schools
pdfDownload the article

Learn more about stadium wireless at Mobile Sports Report (free report with signup).