Jan. 28, 2013
Northwest initiates campus wide upgrade of wireless network
Northwest Missouri State University is systematically upgrading its entire wireless network this spring in an effort to meet the increased needs of its students and employees.
“Northwest’s experience with the significantly increased demand on its wireless network parallels the experience other campuses across the nation are facing,” said Dr. Roger Von Holzen, Northwest’s interim vice president of information systems. “We listened to our students and understand the importance of technology in their daily lives. These upgrades to Northwest’s network will enhance its reliability and allow for future upgrades, as wireless technology evolves, to meet the changing needs of our students, faculty and staff.”
For decades Northwest has placed an emphasis on integrating technology on its campus, and today Northwest provides every student with a wireless-ready notebook computer.
As technology continues to evolve, a 2012 report by the information technology organization CIO highlights the consumerization of campus networks with the arrival of student smartphones, tablets and personal entertainment devices such as Xbox and Wii systems. Additionally, an external consultant studied Northwest’s information systems network last fall and emphasized the need for the upgrade.
Northwest had been operating under a plan to upgrade about 20 percent of its wireless network devices each fiscal year, Von Holzen said. However, increased demand on the wireless network during the fall trimester resulted in network disruptions and outages that led Northwest to initiate the campus wide upgrade.
The University acted in October by purchasing wireless network equipment to enhance internet access in Colden Hall and the high-rise residential halls. In December, Northwest purchased additional equipment for wireless upgrades at the B.D. Owens Library, the J.W. Jones Student Union, Valk Center, Wells Hall, The Station and Tower Suites East and West.
Remaining upgrades are scheduled to begin this week at South Complex, Hudson and Perrin residence halls, Roberta Hall and Forest Village Apartments. Upgrades at North Complex, where students attending the Missouri Academy of Science, Math and Computing reside, are scheduled to take place in June.
Wireless upgrades at the campus’s remaining facilities will take place during Friday afternoons and evenings as class schedules permit, Von Holzen said, with the goal of completing them by April. Those upgrades are planned for the Administration Building, Everett W. Brown Hall, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Olive DeLuce Fine Arts Building, Fire Arts Building, Garrett-Strong Science Building, Lamkin Activity Center, McKemy Center for Lifelong Learning, Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts and miscellaneous conference rooms.
Von Holzen said new access points are the key ingredient to the upgrades, which will enable increased capacity across the Northwest campus to handle more devices — up to 90 devices per access points compared to 30 devices with the former technology.
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468