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University Deploys 'world's Largest' 802.11 Wireless Network

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University of Queensland Director of Information Technology Services Nick Tate

"It is important to us . . . that we do connect to the community as a university," says University of Queensland's Director of Information Technology Services Nick Tate.

Credit: University of Queensland

The University of Queensland (UQ) says it is implementing the biggest 802.11n wireless network in the world to serve as a platform for research, access, and collaboration at the university. UQ's Nick Tate says the network will support the trial of high-end telepresence systems to make travel between campuses less necessary, to bring researchers together, and to aid in university administration. The deployment will involve the installation of about 70,000 ports and 4,000 wireless access points across UQ's four major campuses and 45 related sites.

Tate says the project will help tackle core business challenges such as addressing geographical diversity as well maintaining the integrity of research data "which we need to transport quickly across our networks and overseas." He says UQ selected wireless networks on account of the growing prevalence of mobile computing technology such as smartphones, netbooks, and notebooks, and the large segment of users wanting to connect in small areas such as lecture halls and cafes.

Tate says that UQ will address issues of secure access to the network via the creation of multiple security domains and the use of multiprotocol label switching technology, while also considering an increase of federated wireless access between universities and other institutions to permit roaming users to access the network with the same credentials.

Remote access and control of test labs and video-based evaluation of students are some of the services that UQ's Mark Shultz says the new network would enable. The university also is considering a collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that would take video recorded lectures, remove the audio, and convert it to text, which could then be time-stamped to make it browser-searchable.

From CIO Australia
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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