Wireless Campus

Richard Scaletti


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Project Abstract

Over the past two years the demands for technology utilization in the classroom has grown significantly. To meet these demands and provide future flexibility, NSCC needed to ensure that every classroom could connect to the college network and the Internet. It was an opportune time for us to investigate wireless connectivity because we were faced with:

  • Lack of cabling infrastructure to many classrooms at our three primary campus locations.
  • Our Beverly campus is a rented facility that will be replaced with a new building that is currently under construction in Danvers.
  • Existing connections in classrooms were not in locations that were easily accessible to faculty members.
  • Wireless technology has recently provided greater available bandwidth (11MB) and has drastically come down in price making it a viable option to supplement our existing cable plant.
  • We desired to have computers made available for student in general areas such as the library, cafeteria, etc.
  • A plan was required to support students with laptops and their connectivity requirements.

We planned to investigate and pilot wireless connectivity at one campus location and if successful extend the wireless connectivity to supplement the networks at two other campus locations. The pilot was successful and we have since extended this capability to supplement network access at three campus locations. Each of these three campuses has these capabilities:

  • Every classroom is now network enabled and in a relatively cost effective manner.
  • Our Verizon training program that takes place on student owned laptops has been converted to run via wireless. Twenty-four students now connect to the network via wireless in slightly modified classrooms that provide an electrical outlet to every student.
  • Network connectivity is now available in general campus areas, such as the cafeteria, library, gym etc.
  • Flexibility for connecting laptop systems in an ad-hoc fashion to support registrations and events.
  • Managers who own laptops and travel between campuses can now connect from almost any campus location.