SFU wired for wireless

Sep 05, 2002, vol. 25, no. 1
By Diane Luckow



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Graham Ballantyne (left), SFU Microcomputer store coordinator, shows off the wireless access 802.11B card needed to connect wirelessly to SFU's network and the Internet.


SFU's operations and technical support unit spent the summer installing wiring so that students, staff and faculty can have widespread wireless access to the campus network and the Internet.

“With wireless access and a laptop device, students can use the same computer at home and on campus, creating a seamless computing world,” says Worth Johnson, director of operations and technical support. “Study areas and cubicles around campus are now more useful,” he notes, “because students can do research in our own library's data stores or search other public and private resources for data.”

New wireless access points have been installed to serve all public areas in the applied sciences building, the west mall annex, the rotunda area, the convocation mall, the third floor hallways of the academic quadrangle, the AQ's second-floor safe study area, the corridor between the AQ and the classroom complex and the outside areas of the AQ. A previous wireless pilot saw the entire multipurpose complex wired for wireless in the spring of 1999.

The $100,000 investment in wireless should provide 1,500 students and 1,500 staff and faculty with online access at any given time. Faculty and staff, he notes, can use wireless access for roaming collaborative meetings with their peers, with the option to connect to data-bases on campus and around the world.

Anyone wishing to use wireless access requires a portable, personal computing device equipped with a browser and a slot for an 802.11B wireless NIC access card. These cards are available at any computer supply centre, including the SFU Microcomputer store, where they sell for less than $140.

Johnson says the university will continue to expand wireless access over the next few years, providing high-speed access in offices, classrooms and lecture halls.

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