How's the Network on Your Campus?

Setting up a network can be challenging.

 We often take our wireless networking experiences for granted, especially on our college campus. We expect it to be fast and reliable, but have you ever thought about the process it takes to create such a network?

This article from Danny Mareco for Secure Edge Networks examines six of the challenges a college IT department may need to consider when deploying a wireless network. Mareco explains the importance of considering issues like capacity, coverage, cost, performance monitoring, security, and density. Between the increased number of devices on campus and the many different ways wireless access is being used, it's clear to see that a well-designed and up-to-date network is critical. The article also includes videos and a wireless network design kit to help with network planning.

Supporting Web Links

Discussion Topics/Activities
  1. Ask your class how many digital devices they carry on a daily basis. How often do they access the college’s network during their time on campus? Is the college’s network more or less responsive than their home network?
  2. Divide the class into small groups. Each group should create and conduct a survey of their fellow students about their network usage. The surveys might include questions relating to the number of digital devices each respondent owns, how often they use them on campus, whether the college’s network capabilities influenced their decision to choose this institution, etc. Each group should present their findings to the class.
  3. As an individual project, ask students to interview a networking professional – either on campus or at a local business – about the impact numerous digital devices and the Internet of Things has had on their network’s infrastructure. How are they responding to the increased need for bandwidth, improved security, and other related issues? Students should write a brief synopsis of their findings.

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