Columbus State University to upgrade wireless network

mrice@ledger-enquirer.comApril 25, 2014 

The main entrance of Columbus State University main campus off of University Avenue.

JOE PAULL — jpaull@ledger-enquirer.com

Starting in July, Columbus State University will begin a technology upgrade worth nearly $500,000 to boost wireless service on its main and RiverPark campuses.

CSU made the announcement in a news release Friday.

The high-density and academic areas will be upgraded first, as well as areas lacking wireless coverage. The upgrade then will expand to non-academic areas and less-visited parts of the main campus. The third phase will improve wireless coverage in outdoor areas. The project is expected to be finished by December.

Funding for the upgrade will come from student technology fees and CSU's Information and Technology Services budget.

"Our goal is to provide the best possible wireless experience for our students, faculty and staff, as well as visitors to campus," Abraham George, the university's chief information officer, said in the release. "I am so glad we were able to able to make this project work."

CSU installed its first wireless equipment in 2005. Six years later, the university's network allowed anyone on either campus to wirelessly access the Internet. But during the past three years, the release said, the number of wireless devices and usage at CSU has tripled, and online gaming and streaming video especially have strained the network.

CSU selected Xirrus Inc., based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., among the six companies that tested their equipment at the university for three to six weeks, according to the release. The university plans to order about 900 access points.

"We were looking for equipment that provided the best coverage, obviously, but we also want a system that's easy to sign onto, will work seamlessly as users move around campus, is easy to maintain and can handle fluctuations in demand," Casey Hergett, CSU's senior manager of infrastructure and network services, said in the release.

Mark Rice, 706-576-6272. Follow Mark on Twitter@MarkRiceLE.

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