University of Birmingham overhauls Wi-Fi network to extend coverage to all sites

The University of Birmingham is overhauling and widening its Wi-Fi network coverage to improve data speeds and increase access to students.

The University of Birmingham is overhauling and widening its Wi-Fi network coverage to improve data speeds and increase access to students.

Complete Wi-Fi coverage will be provided by the end of 2008 at its main 250 hectare Edgbaston campus, the 80 hectare Selly Oak campus, and at the affiliated Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon.

This will make it one of the largest deployments of Wi-Fi within a UK university.

The university is using IronPoint Mobility Series access points and controllers from Foundry Networks in the project.

John Turnbull, the University of Birmingham's head of networks in the IT Services department, said, "Our Wi-Fi strategy is to ensure staff, students and visitors to the university have the best experience of using our network in the whole of UK academia.

"Given our policy is not to allow open network access, this means straightforward registration and authentication with enough capacity to ensure fast and extensive coverage."

To deliver this in a secure and easy-to-manage way, more than 300 IronPoint Mobility access points and two Foundry Mobility Controllers have been installed, with the university taking full advantage of the virtual cell technology capabilities included.

This means that the various access points in one geographical area all use one channel, thereby allowing IT staff to engineer out any frequency issues associated with other competing Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as Wi-Fi alarm systems.

The project is being delivered by Foundry partner Pervasive Networks.




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