Case Study: Santa Clara U. graduates to Gigabit Wi-Fi

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In 2006, Santa Clara University began rolling out a Wi-Fi network as a way to supplement the school's existing production network. The initial deployment consisted of about 800 Cisco Aironet 1131 a/b/g/ access points and Cisco WiSM controllers. As expansion or renovation projects occurred, the school added some 802.11n access points, but until recently 90% of the roughly 70 buildings on campus were equipped with the older, slower technology.

Todd Schmitzer, network and telecommunications manager at SCU, says the original Wi-Fi network was designed to provide expanded convenience' access to the campus network from academic, administrative, and residence hall locations. It was never intended as a production network or the sole mechanism for people to access the campus network. It did not cover all locations (only the common occupied spaces), did not provide for high-density use (classrooms, theaters, dining halls), or provide nearly the bandwidth of the wired network.

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