Iowa State University

ITInformation Technology

CAC Funding to ITS Leads to Wireless Upgrades

This news item expired April 30, 2011. It may contain out-of-date information.
Last December, the Computation Advisory Committee (CAC) funded a grant request from Information Technology Services (ITS) to expand and enhance wireless coverage on campus. The project, which will run for three years, was given just over $350,000 to add new wireless access points, improve existing coverage, and pay for ongoing network charges.

"Since CAC funding comes from the computer fee assessed on all students, the proposal included a mechanism to gather input from students about where wireless capabilities should be added," said Jennifer Lohrbach, Senior Systems Analyst in IT Services. An email was sent to all students at the beginning of the spring semester inviting them to take a brief survey and indicate their preferences. The results of that survey were used to focus the project.

According to students, one of the top priorities was the food court and nearby areas in the Memorial Union. Other priorities were the third floor of the Parks Library, the basement and first floor of Carver Hall, and various places within the Gerdin Business Building, including the café area.

In some cases access points have been added to expand coverage, while in others, older technology has been upgraded to support the latest 802.11n standard. In fact, ITS has capitalized on the opportunity and gone beyond the grant, putting its own resources into upgrading other equipment in the same areas with newer, faster technology to provide an improved wireless experience.

Work has proceeded rapidly during the semester and students are already seeing the benefits. Improvements in the Memorial Union and Gerdin Business Building are nearing completion and are well along in other areas. By the time students return in the fall, the project will have completed all the scheduled upgrades.

Other buildings that students suggested for improvements and that are part of the project include:

- College of Design (2nd floor)
- Coover Hall (auditorium)
- Agronomy Hall (2nd floor)
- Curtiss Hall (3rd floor)
- Lagomarcino Hall (West wing)
- Bessey Hall (1st floor)
- Beyer Hall (various points)
- Kildee Hall (1st floor)
- Howe Hall (atrium)
- Music Hall (1st floor)