RealTime IT News

University Moves to High-Speed WLAN

Tulane University had a problem: It wanted to link 80 buildings and a number of common areas on three campuses together without wires, enabling students and staff access throughout the university.

The company announced its solution this week, saying it will deploy about 1,000 of Enterasys Netwoprks RoamAbout R2 Access Points throughout the university. The access points support 802.11a, which will deliver speeds as high as 54Mbps.

"With the size and scope of the wireless initiative, we must deploy technology that will last," said Jed Diem, vice president of information systems at Tulane University. He said the university selected the Enterasys products because they enable easy migration from 802.11b to 802.11a.

Diem said the system will serve as an adjunct to the wired network and pushes the university toward one of its goal of enabling easy access from anywhere on the campus.

Diem said that the system uses MAC address authentication via radius servers, which will help secure the WLAN infrastructure. He added that the university also will take other steps, relying on IEEE standards, to make sure the network is secure. Security issues about 802.11 networks have been raised recently by a number of analysts and technologists.

The university said it will deploy the WLAN access first in the medical and law schools and in the library on the main campus. It said it expected full implementation by the end of the year.