The university will spend about a year and about $1.35 million to complete the campus wireless network.
The project will involve installing access points in 27 academic and administration buildings to ensure ubiquitous coverage for users of wireless devices, whether they be students who consider wireless access a “must have” for any modern educational institution or university faculty and staff who rely on iPads in meeting rooms across campus.
According to Kim Baryluk, acting manager of network and communication services with Information Technology Services (ITS), expanding the network first involves a careful building survey to determine the location of access points based on coverage and capacity. The points are then hard-wired into the building, a process that can be challenging because of the age of some structure.
“We’re going to start with the Agriculture Building and the veterinary college,” said Baryluk, “Agriculture will be relatively easy because it’s newer and has conduit already in place but the vet college is going to be more difficult. We’re intentionally starting with an easy one and a hard one to determine the pace of the installation process.”
The first wireless access points were installed on campus more than eight years ago. Additional points added over the years mean wireless access is available in most classrooms, libraries, study spaces, meeting rooms and indoor public areas but ubiquitous access is only available in five buildings. Baryluk said detailed access plans have been completed for a number of buildings and work will continue on others as the project progresses.
Baryluk said between-building tunnels and outdoor corridors will not have wireless coverage “but we’re going to cover all interior corridors as best we can.”