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University Networking Program

Thursday, January 1, 2004

Abstract

Over the last decade, advanced networking became an indispensable component of academic life. From research and learning applications to the general explosion of Web-based communications, the need for high-performance network connectivity is paramount. At University of British Columbia (UBC), an emerging connectivity deficit stemming from inadequate campus-wide planning between "have" and "have not" departments and newer and older facilities posed concerns for students, faculty, and staff. The University Network Program (UNP) was established to advance a comprehensive strategy for renewing, expanding, and sustaining a future-oriented network presence across the 1,000 acre UBC campus. The solution called for an end-to-end connectivity service to permanently supplant the existing fragmentary networks dotting the campus. Its other goals included: • providing one port per 100 square feet of space, and one in every classroom, lab, and seminar room; • offering 100Mbps in-building connectivity with a redundant gigabit backbone and Category 6 copper cable throughout buildings; • creating a usable, secure, low-maintenance, wide-ranging wireless network; • developing an inventive network maintenance tool for use throughout campus; and • completely overhauling the university's funding model for ongoing network support. Generating campus-wide support and cooperation (making the case for such a program) was an integral, ongoing part of this strategy.

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