Dimension Data overhauls ‘mediocre’ Deakin University wireless network

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news ICT solutions and services provider Dimension Data has overhauled the wireless network at Deakin University’s campuses across Victoria to address a “mediocre” previous system that was causing connectivity issues for both students and staff.

Deakin University has over 52,000 students and 5,000-plus staff across four campuses, as well as cloud-connected members. Since students now often own multiple connected devices, Dimension Data said in a statement, the previous wireless network was no longer up to the demands of increased mobile device usage, “resulting in erratic service-delivery and prohibitive performance”.

William Confalonieri, Chief Digital Officer at Deakin University, said the existing wireless network could not be relied upon, with performance levels he rated “mediocre at best”. “When it comes to wireless connectivity, this project was not only about fixing a frustration, but improving the learning experience for our students,” Confalonieri said.

The connectivity issues with the old network left Deakin with only 28% wireless coverage across its campuses. Confalonieri said he “engaged Dimension Data to develop a solution which would solve the university’s wireless challenges” – a project he dubbed ‘Deakin Connected’.

“With [so many students and staff], a reliable and fast wireless network is vital in providing the connectivity we need to deliver the very best student learning experience,” Confalonieri said.

Gregg Sultana, National Manager, Networking at Dimension Data Australia, said in order to provide sufficient coverage in student areas and address ‘black-spots’ on the campuses, over 500 new wireless access points were installed, along with an upgrade of over 100 existing points – all managed by wireless LAN controllers. CRN has reported that the kit was from Cisco Systems.

“We needed to address the poor coverage and performance of the existing solution,” Sultana said. “To do that, we performed a wireless survey, which consists of an onsite walk around to understand any of the physical limitations of the environment, as well as a predictive analysis using our site survey tools.”

Sultana said the new wireless infrastructure allowed more than 30,000 devices to be connected to the network simultaneously and had increased wireless coverage across the whole university to 82 per cent, with up to 91 per cent coverage in student areas.

Summing up, Sultana said: “Now, we are in a very strong position and we can push the boundaries. Thanks to this connectivity, we are working with immersive reality, the Internet of Things and with artificial intelligence – the Deakin Connected initiative starts to make everything possible.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. 600 APs seems pretty low IMHO, the fact they only had 100 before is ridiculous for a university.

  2. Indeed, 600 doesn’t sound enough for 4 campuses. 2.5 years ago QUT had 975 to serve Gardens Point and Kelvin Grove. You could walk across the campus without a single drop out.

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