When I arrived on my current campus and assignment seven years ago we were just completing a complete overhaul of our wireless infrastructure to accommodate something we called Anytime Anywhere computing. We had just launched a laptop requirement and in the first week of school deployed some 600 laptops to the incoming first years and another 700 to returning students. We were also completing a wired port upgrade in all the residence halls to provide port to pillow connectivity. Wireless took off like a rocket and completely shut down our wireless network within two hours of handing out the last of the laptops. Lessen learned – there will never be enough bandwidth!
Today, like everyone else, we are seeing an explosion of devices wanting to authenticate to the network. Our basic response – connect away, but if you have really important stuff to do, connect hardwire to the network for reliability and stability of connection. Lesson Learned – no one wants to be tethered!
We need to do a better job at planning for this explosion and most likely will always be behind the curve in our response to client need. This thread points to some very real constraints that force us to step gingerly into the real world of today's student and faculty needs when it comes to connectivity. Staying current and at the latest iterations of wireless technology will always be a challenge without an understanding and commitment as to cost. (Which could take me into a discussion about whether technology is a commodity to be celebrated as a partner in the academic enterprise or a utility with costs to be contained.) A second issue to confront is an understanding of how such mobile devices are being used on campus. If for entertainment (and everyone needs some down time no and then) are we to be concerned with our ability to maintain similar bandwidths students and faculty find at home or are we to concentrate our solutions on those areas of campus that most impact the educational operation? There will be trade-offs given limited budgets and shrinking expertise within staffs to support the explosion of systems we now are facing. Traffic shaping and bandwidth prioritization, banning certain types of traffic altogether, limits on the number of devises that can authenticate to the network, and identifying how these devices are being used on campus would go a long way to helping us "control" , in a limited way, everyone's ability to access and benefit from the resources we map available.
Thomas H. Carnwath | Vice President | Technology and Information Services
The University of the Arts | 320 South Broad Street | Philadelphia, PA 19102 | Tel: 215-717-6440
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From: Theresa Rowe <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Reply-To: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Date: Monday, September 2, 2013 3:59 PM
To: "[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>" <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>
Subject: [CIO] Top Ten Issue #1 Leveraging the Wireless and Device Explosion on Campus
And finally - the top issue. Does this issue have an impact on your campus as you start classes this fall?
Issue #1: Leveraging the Wireless and Device Explosion on Campus
Not long ago, higher education institutions were recognized as leading-edge if they were actively pursuing one-to-one computing initiatives to ensure that each student had access to computing resources and, increasingly, to the Internet. Now it seems that having only one device that can access the Internet is an exceptional situation. For example, Ohio University reports that the average student brings two devices to campus, and Cedarville University's unpublished logs show that Internet access on any given day can come from more than 9,000 different devices on a campus with a student and employee population of less than 4,000.5 The 2013 EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research (ECAR) study on the Bring-Your-Own Device (BYOD) trend estimates that students will bring three to four Internet-capable devices to campus in the fall of 2013.6
___ - the entire article is at http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/top-ten-it-issues-2013-welcome-connected-age
We've already had a group of students visit the president to request a wireless upgrade in the student center; the facility is already covered, but the signal isn't robust enough for the volume of access. We finished an RFP in April to identify the best new platform for our campus, and also are planning to increase the density of access points. But a funding source has not been identified yet, and if I just use cyclical replacement funding, we won't meet expectations on campus for 3 or 4 years (or will just be playing catch up forever).
Are you finding changing expectations for wireless service? Is wireless networking a strategic part of your academic delivery planning?
Chief Information Officer
********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/discuss.
Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/discuss.