CCIT completes massive summer wireless network upgrade—and it’s only the beginning
During the relative quiet of summer at Clemson University, CCIT’s Network and Telecommunications (NST) department was hard at work upgrading the wireless network across campus.
From May through August, the group installed almost 3,000 wireless access points in residential and academic buildings throughout Clemson. The updated wireless access points connect to the Clemson network via a wired connection and provide stronger, more reliable coverage.
“With newer generations of equipment and dedicated resources to upgrade the wireless, we’ve been able to focus on providing a better signal, higher bandwidth and improving the density so we can support more devices,” said Daniel Infantino, NST’s senior wireless engineer.
Combined with other recent improvements, NST has boosted coverage by more than 50 percent compared to 2015-16.
The first phase featured almost 500 new access points installed in academic buildings, including 74 in Cooper Library alone. Other buildings included in the upgrade were Daniel, Sirrine, Brackett, Martin, Poole, Lee, Edwards, Hunter, Holtzendorff and Kinard.
The next phase focused on residential buildings, to the tune of more than 2,000 access points. Lightsey Bridge I, Core Campus, the Shoeboxes, Byrnes, Lever, Manning and fraternity/sorority Housing on the Quad were upgraded with the latest Cisco access points. Johnstone was also upgraded with ceiling-mount access points, and next summer’s upgrades will include all other residential buildings.
“The goal is having a personal access point for each room so students aren’t having to split a connection,” said wireless network engineer Brett Laberdia. “Think of it like traffic on a road, and you want the least amount of people on a single access point.”
Upgraded wireless also includes expanded resmedianet in more buildings, supporting wireless-enabled media devices like Apple TV, Roku and video game consoles.
Additionally, new surveying and monitoring tools will allow NST to build more efficiently and identify potential issues for quick resolutions.
CCIT asks that students please not bring their own routers or networking equipment. In addition to being a violation of the University’s housing contract, rogue routers slow down the network for everyone.
With additional staff and attention to wireless on campus, NST engineers know the Clemson community will see the payoff.
“The wireless network has become the primary network for students and staff. CCIT will continue to enhance this vital infrastructure to make the wireless experience seamless and fast,” said Wallace Chase, Executive Director of NST.