ITS and UNC Housing and Residential Education are joining forces and resources, with the assistance of one-time funding support from within the University, and engagement of the Residence Hall Association, for the purpose of providing pervasive wi-fi/wireless coverage within all on-campus University residence halls.
Prior to the 2013 Fall Semester, wi-fi connectivity within these buildings existed only in common areas and lounges; coverage within student rooms ranged from minimal to none. This resulted in students installing their own wireless access devices and routers, creating radio interference issues with other students, security holes and other support issues. With funding from the University, ITS will be able to deploy nearly 2,000 wireless access points within 46 residence halls, allowing for coverage in every student room and lounge, as well as prohibiting the insecure and now unnecessary home/personal wireless routers.
The need for pervasive wi-fi coverage has grown significantly over time with the explosion of tablets, smartphones, and laptops that no longer have built-in Ethernet. Given that residence hall rooms are effectively the “home environment” for on-campus students and home electronic devices now expect to have wi-fi available, this expansion of network coverage needs to be done.
The process involved in providing this coverage is significant. It requires full building on-location site surveys of every residence hall to assess appropriate signal strengths and radio placement, as well as determining how network cabling and switch ports to each wireless access point will be provided, as well as how power will be provided to these access points. Please note: project implementation schedule and order of building completion are dependent on building wiring, structural, and electrical constraints. The schedule may change if significant challenges are discovered during the implementation period. The goal for full coverage in all residence halls is set for start of Spring 2015 semester.
Project Schedule Overview (Project duration 18 moths)
Spring 2013 - Funding was allocated and initial equipment purchased late (Status Complete)
Residence Hall building priorities identified by Housing and Residential Education on June 7th, 2013 (Status Complete)
Early August 2013 – Site surveys of all residence halls complete (Status Complete as of August 6th)
Implementation Phase I
Mid August 2013 – Wireless connectivity established for by the start of the Fall 2013 semester for:
- Hinton James
- Craige North
Implementation Phase II
Prior to start of Spring Semester 2014 - Pervasive wireless will be implemented in the remaining residence halls according to the housing priority set by Housing and Residential Education. Each hall will have the necessary wiring and electrical work performed to support the wireless networking equipment. Once this has occurred, the networking equipment will be installed, configured, and made operational. Halls identified as requirement significant wiring, electrical, or structural work in order to support pervasive wireless will be schedule in a later phase. If we have physical access to these locations while occupied, we would look to complete at least three halls per month in the order listed below:
Implementation Phase III
Prior to start of Fall Semester 2014 – Halls identified as requirement significant wiring, electrical, or structural work in order to support pervasive wireless will be completed in this phase.
- Old East
- Old West
Implementation Phase IV
Prior to start of Spring Semester 2015 – Locations below need major engineering design as well as significant wiring work to support pervasive wireless in this phase.
- Baity Hill
- Ram Village
Current Status (The Goal for full coverage in all residence halls is set for start of Spring 2015 semester)
The goal of having full coverage in the initial eight top priority residence halls by the start of the Fall 2013 semester is expected to be met. These include:
- Hinton James
- Craige North
All site surveys have been completed.
The status of the required cabling/physical infrastructure needed to support wireless access point installation in each of the residence halls is as follows; note that there is a possibility that the work scheduled for 8-14-13 and later will be deferred until AFTER students have moved in (move-in starts 8-14-13). The halls are listed below in order of priority:
|Old East||Spring 2015|
|Old West||Spring 2015|
|Baity Hill||Pending resource determination|
|Ram Village||Pending resource determination|
*Designates buildings still under planning for cable installation and activation.