Main Nav

The situation at Central Washington that Carmen relates is likely not that uncommon. We had a similar situation at RPI, and although it may sound non-responsive, our solution was to increase our commitment to wireless in the residence halls, by increasing coverage, increasing capacity, and improving the quality of the service, perhaps imperfectly in some circumstances. The issues of cost and wireless "unfriendly" buildings were one we faced as well, but we did not see another way to meet all our requirements and objectives. Having done that, we changed our policy, after meeting with some student groups to socialize the policy and get feedback, so that "students are no longer allowed to run their own wireless routers or access points." This policy, which can be found at http://helpdesk.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=544, takes effect when the fall semester starts in a little more than 2 weeks. Gary Schwartz Director Communications & Middleware Technologies RPI ------------------------ From: Carmen Rahm [RahmC@CWU.EDU] Sent: Wednesday, August 08, 2012 5:51 PM Subject: Re: BYOD from a network analyst view All: I haven't had time to closely follow this thread ... but it is of huge interest. I'm not as concerned about BYOD with faculty staff (I think we're OK there) ... but student BYOD is a huge issue, as most of our older Residence Halls do not have wireless (just wired access), and our Housing Dept. does not want to spring for the bill to install wireless until Halls get updated ... so at one Residence Hall a biennium, by 2040 we should be there. How are others addressing the plethora of wireless only devices in Residence Halls that do not have wireless? 1) Tough luck! Go somewhere on campus where there is wireless or move to a newer Hall that has it (this'll get me tarred and feathered). 2) Use your cellular/mobile service only, when in the Residence Halls (that's not popular). I've had parents tell me ... "Are you going to pay my son's mobile bill if he can't get on wireless with his iPad"? 3) Forcing Housing to install wireless in all Residential Halls (I do not have that much clout). Our older halls are concrete and brick. It's difficult and expensive to install. 4) Installing Micro-WAPs in individual rooms. 5) Allowing students to install their own Wireless Routers in their rooms (something we currently do not "officially" endorse, but I've told students to do if there's no alternative). Any other recommendations? Carmen A. Rahm Asst. VP for Info. Technology Central Washington University 400 East University Way Ellensburg, WA 98926 Direct Phone: (509) 963-2925 Mobile Phone: (360) 271-2992 ITS Office Phone: (509) 963-2333 ITS Homepage: www.cwu.edu/~its ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Comments

We did a few things 1. Our res life does a comprehensive survey of residents and the services and experience they have. That survey consistently points to the importance of wireless to students and that helped change resident life's willingness to fund campus wireless deployment. 2. in the early 2000's we bought some consumer routers and would sign them out for the year. I think we did a hundred as a pilot. Wireless was not in demand like now. This students who had this loved it but it wasn't going to scale for us to do this. 3. In the early 2003/4 we came up with a recommended buy for a wireless router and guides on how to configure it securely. We trained the resnet student staff to help as well. This worked OK but you ended up with some students not doing what we said and having open wireless which opened up the person who set this up to DMCA complaints ( we know who has each wired jack). This worked better but over time as students moved around you would end up with three or four routers in a room or none at all. Both IT and Reslife felt it would be better for make this a central service. 4. From those pilots and the survey data we made a multi-year plan to rollout wireless in the dorms. We started with the larger resident halls and then have moved to apartment complexes. We have one last batch of older apartments left to do. Reslife has debated renovating versus tearing them down and so we have held off updating. Lessons learned 1. Students do want wireless, encourage Reslife to survey for this. 2. Experiment, freshman will do what you say ( at least for the first month:-) 3. Rollout this out over a number of years so you don't get hit with upgrade costs hitting all in one year, try to make it a more balanced cycle. 4. Pay for the remote management of wireless. You will get to many support requests to manually deal with these. Jack Suess UMBC Division of Information Technology (DoIT)
About five years ago our network was upgraded and capacity increased to accommodate a recently adopted laptop program for all students. This included a port to every pillow and wireless in the residence halls. From the outset the ports we hardly used. The students wanted the flexibility to roam the halls and connect at the same time. They wanted abilities to interact internal to the campus as well as external. While the wireless worked for the most part, the influx at one time of 700 wireless devices in the residences proved beyond a doubt that we would be challenged to maintain stability and sufficient access through wireless. Within a day of school opening that first year the entire wireless network froze. We knew that whatever we did would probably never be enough to mirror what Mom and Dad provided at home! We have continued to monitor, made some changes, and still recommend hardwire connectivity in residence halls for selected activities. Five years later with a campus that is completely wireless throughout in conjunction with the wired network we are facing similar issues and in particular in the residence halls. We are phasing in an upgrade and starting with the residence halls because that is where the complaints arise. For the most part (except in hard to reach areas of certain classroom buildings) classroom space is well covered in wireless and hardwired to the teaching stations. Add to this is the issue of security, authentication and service delivery which we will also need to revisit. We will be at it for some time and perhaps never succeed in meeting everyone's expectations (which we are trying to refocus). Tom Thomas H. Carnwath Vice President Technology and Information Services Hamilton Hall 320 South Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19102 Tel: 215-717-6440 Need Assistance? Call OOPS (215-717-6677) to get answers. OTIS will never ask for your personal information or password in an email. Never share this information with anyone. This message and any attachment may contain confidential or privileged information and is intended for the intended individual named as addressee. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, please notify the sender immediately by return email and delete this message and all attachments from your system. Any unauthorized disclosure, use, distribution, or reproduction of this message or any attachments is prohibited and may be deemed unlawful. Please consider the environment before printing this email. On 8/9/12 11:28 AM, "Jack Suess" wrote: >We did a few things > >1. Our res life does a comprehensive survey of residents and the services >and experience they have. That survey consistently points to the >importance of wireless to students and that helped change resident life's >willingness to fund campus wireless deployment. > >2. in the early 2000's we bought some consumer routers and would sign >them out for the year. I think we did a hundred as a pilot. Wireless was >not in demand like now. This students who had this loved it but it wasn't >going to scale for us to do this. > >3. In the early 2003/4 we came up with a recommended buy for a wireless >router and guides on how to configure it securely. We trained the resnet >student staff to help as well. This worked OK but you ended up with some >students not doing what we said and having open wireless which opened up >the person who set this up to DMCA complaints ( we know who has each >wired jack). This worked better but over time as students moved around >you would end up with three or four routers in a room or none at all. >Both IT and Reslife felt it would be better for make this a central >service. > >4. From those pilots and the survey data we made a multi-year plan to >rollout wireless in the dorms. We started with the larger resident halls >and then have moved to apartment complexes. We have one last batch of >older apartments left to do. Reslife has debated renovating versus >tearing them down and so we have held off updating. > >Lessons learned > >1. Students do want wireless, encourage Reslife to survey for this. >2. Experiment, freshman will do what you say ( at least for the first >month:-) >3. Rollout this out over a number of years so you don't get hit with >upgrade costs hitting all in one year, try to make it a more balanced >cycle. >4. Pay for the remote management of wireless. You will get to many >support requests to manually deal with these. > >Jack Suess >UMBC Division of Information Technology (DoIT) > >
Message from reuss@umd.edu

We had the APs for our highrise dorms located in the hallways which was convenient for installation and maintenance, but it made for a poor RF design. Lots of co-channel interference and dynamic power management problems. Moving them into student rooms solved this, although coordinating the installation with the residents was a hassle. We have not seen an increase in loss, damage or troubles. Every once in a great while we get a user who is concerned with health aspects of having an AP in their room. -Karl Reuss University of Maryland College Park ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.
Message from toivo@usf.edu

Our experience matches that of a lot of other schools. Initially, for budget reasons, a few buildings got APs in the hallways, but that's a suboptimal RF design and will not work properly, and we quickly moved away from that and instead tackled the hassles of trying to get APs into rooms and suites. This also made for natural small cells, which are pretty important. Things like NetFlix and Hulu are popular uses of the network, and when streamed over wireless, you have to start limiting users per AP. The additional benefit of putting the APs in non-public areas to us as well was accountability, so that if damage were to occur, housing could bill the residents. Luckily, we also have not seen notable loss or damage. We use Cisco APs and small locks to affix them to their brackets, but no protective coverings beyond that. The Cisco brackets also make the cables inaccessible, so we haven't dealt with students unplugging anything*. We and our residence staff were concerned about vandalism initially, but everyone has been pleasantly surprised. In some of our new buildings each suite has a small mechanical closet for water heaters etc. and that turned out to be a good place for the AP, as it's reachable from the hallway and not reachable by the residents, but still basically in the suite. If there's new construction or renovation, doesn't hurt to have a chat with the architect or engineer to see if they have any ideas. The biggest complaint we have received regarding the access points in rooms was that the blinking light bothered residents, so in the residence halls we've turned off the LED indicators. Also, 5 GHz is a must. There's no way to get 2.4 GHz to work reliably, the lack of channels for tiling and microwaves, game controllers and other endless amounts of 2.4 GHz devices see to that, and we strongly encourage students to get dual-band cards or systems. In buildings where we have blanket wireless coverage, the use of wired connections by residents has almost completely vanished even when there's a hot and ready jack right in their room, so there's an obvious strong preference of wireless among the student population. This can maybe be translated into a cost savings to justify the Wifi install. -- Toivo Voll Network Engineer Information Technology Communications University of South Florida *In some of our older classrooms where we rigged wireless using existing jacks that were accessible, we repeatedly had to go and plug them back in because people would ignore any amount of "don't unplug / don't touch" signage or common sense. Based on that experience, if your jacks / AP jacks are accessible, I'd certainly recommend some kind of enclosure that keeps enterprising self-help fingers off them. >
David, During the spring and summer of 2012, the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus upgraded wireless in the dorms. We had b/g AP's in the dorm hallways and the wireless complaints were a constant reminder that we had to do something. We removed the AP's from the hallways and placed AP's in some of the dorm rooms, taking one of the wired ports for an AP. Overall, we went from around 600 AP's to 1600 AP's and to 802.11n throughout in the process. We've had very few calls where students have messed with the AP's. For rooms that we had to use one of the wired ports, we allow a small switch to be installed upon request. But we haven't seen many requests for that. lj Larry Jennings IT Manager - Network Services The University of Tennessee 2309 Kingston Pike Bldg. Knoxville, TN 37996 Phone: 865.974.1619 Email: ljenning@utk.edu SIP: ljenning@utk.edu
I've been very hesitant to put powered units in the resident units. My concern is less the tampering issue, and more the service issue. I don't want to have to schedule around students to fix them if they do break. We have placed units in a few apartments out of necessity. The students are responsible for the replacement if they are broken (and we use Xirrus, so they aren't cheap). We've also made it clear that, if they are tampered with we'll turn off the service. This is the first term we've had them in the (few) rooms. It's been fine. If I had to do it en mass, I'd be more inclined to leave the hardware in the hallway and extend an antenna into the room, if that is possible. -Brian ________________________________________ From: The EDUCAUSE Wireless Issues Constituent Group Listserv [WIRELESS-LAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU] on behalf of Jennings, Larry W [ljenning@UTK.EDU] Sent: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 10:30 AM To: WIRELESS-LAN@LISTSERV.EDUCAUSE.EDU Subject: Re: [WIRELESS-LAN] Wireless in Residence Halls David, During the spring and summer of 2012, the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus upgraded wireless in the dorms. We had b/g AP's in the dorm hallways and the wireless complaints were a constant reminder that we had to do something. We removed the AP's from the hallways and placed AP's in some of the dorm rooms, taking one of the wired ports for an AP. Overall, we went from around 600 AP's to 1600 AP's and to 802.11n throughout in the process. We've had very few calls where students have messed with the AP's. For rooms that we had to use one of the wired ports, we allow a small switch to be installed upon request. But we haven't seen many requests for that. lj Larry Jennings IT Manager - Network Services The University of Tennessee 2309 Kingston Pike Bldg. Knoxville, TN 37996 Phone: 865.974.1619 Email: ljenning@utk.edu SIP: ljenning@utk.edu
Joel,


Heads up. Many vendors provide box mounted APs with only one radio at 2.4 GHz (e.g. your Ruckus reference) or selectable spectrum (the extreme network reference or even the Aruba AP 93H).
Providing only 2.4 GHz is a solution that might not last for long and only providing 5 GHz could create problems with your community.
We looked at those and decided that this type of investment wouldn't last very long.
If a vendor had a 2 radios AP in a wall box format, it would be a completely different story (but can 802.3af support 2 radios and a switch?)

Philippe
 
On Dec 19, 2012, at 11:44 AM, "Coehoorn, Joel" <jcoehoorn@YORK.EDU> wrote:

We're looking into a wall-box form factor for our access points. Something along the lines of one of these:


They're designed to fit into a traditional electrical wall box (like the one that's probably already there for an existing network drop) and they provide a passthrough port, so a student can still plug in a wired device like an xbox without messing the functional parts of the AP. The student may not even know there's an access point there.

This won't work for everyone, since the big Aruba/Cisco players don't have this form factor. We're small enough we don't even have a controller and use fat APs. But I thought this was still worth mentioning for those with mixed environments or anyone using Ruckus or Extreme.. As a side note: is anyone else eager for a common AP/Controller interaction standard, to be able to bring one vendor's access points to another's controller?



Joel Coehoorn
Director of Information Technology
York College, Nebraska
402.363.5603
jcoehoorn@york.edu

 

The mission of York College is to transform lives through Christ-centered education and to equip students for lifelong service to God, family, and society





Close
Close


Annual Conference
September 29–October 2
Register Now!

Events for all Levels and Interests

Whether you're looking for a conference to attend face-to-face to connect with peers, or for an online event for team professional development, see what's upcoming.

Close

Digital Badges
Member recognition effort
Earn yours >

Career Center


Leadership and Management Programs

EDUCAUSE Institute
Project Management

 

 

Jump Start Your Career Growth

Explore EDUCAUSE professional development opportunities that match your career aspirations and desired level of time investment through our interactive online guide.

 

Close
EDUCAUSE organizes its efforts around three IT Focus Areas

 

 

Join These Programs If Your Focus Is

Close

Get on the Higher Ed IT Map

Employees of EDUCAUSE member institutions and organizations are invited to create individual profiles.
 

 

Close

2014 Strategic Priorities

  • Building the Profession
  • IT as a Game Changer
  • Foundations


Learn More >

Uncommon Thinking for the Common Good™

EDUCAUSE is the foremost community of higher education IT leaders and professionals.