UConn Wireless Service Expansion – Project Overview

Description

Wireless network connectivity is a foundational element of contemporary IT services.  This highly visible service impacts not only current members of our community but also visitors and prospective students. Use of this service has grown steadily and will continue to do so as the number of devices per individual and expectations for robust wireless connectivity increase.

Currently less than 50% of University buildings have the quality coverage and sufficient capacity to deliver a contemporary wireless service. The result is an uneven network experience across the entirety of a building and the campus at large. Aging infrastructure and ad hoc deployments for funded projects (e.g., new construction or building renovations) have contributed to this issue.

To improve performance and coverage, the University has made sufficient capital resources available starting the last quarter of FY2017 and continuing through FY2018. With these funds, UITS will strategically augment and supplement the wireless network infrastructure to provide all administrative and academic buildings across all UConn campuses with full wireless coverage.

 

Purpose: Provide our community and visitors a contemporary wireless networking experience that aligns with their expectations for performance and mobility.

Scope: Expand indoor wireless service coverage in all UConn buildings on all campuses to ensure quality coverage and sufficient capacity.

Objectives:

  • Provide a contemporary wireless experience by augmenting current infrastructure. This will be accomplished through the installation of new wireless access points in all indoor locations which do not meet contemporary standards.
  • Communicate and coordinate upgrades with building administrators to minimize impact to the community

Funding: Funding for this project is coming from two sources. Expansion of wireless in the Student Union, a student-centric facility, was funded by the Student Tech Fee. Central funding is covering all other university buildings.

Staffing: UITS Network Operations and Physical Infrastructure will be responsible for coordinating and executing this project.

Duration: The project will be completed by the end of FY18 and will be executed in five quarters.

Implementation

As of March 2017, approximately 2400 wireless access points (WAP) were deployed in academic and administrative areas only across the Storrs and regional campuses. To have full coverage in all of the academic and administrative areas, UITS will deploy an additional 2000 WAPs.

UITS will be scheduling upgrades on a quarterly basis.  First quarter upgrades and underway and will be completed by July 1, 2017.   Current status of quarter one locations are below:

Building % Wireless Coverage Today Status Est. Completion date
PHARMACY/BIOLOGY BUILDING 47% Scheduled 6/5 week of 6/16
BIOLOGY / PHYSICS 100% Complete week of 6/5
CHEMISTRY BUILDING 50% Scheduled 6/5 week of 6/16
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY BUILDING 100% Complete week of 6/5
TORREY LIFE SCIENCES BUILDING 55% In Progress week of 6/5
ENGINEERING II 36% In Progress week of 6/16
BEACH HALL 65% In Progress week of 6/16
CASTLEMAN BUILDING (ENG. I) 50% In Progress week of 6/16
CENTER FOR UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION 53% Complete
BRONWELL BUILDING (ARTHUR B.) 28% In Progress week of 6/16
UNITED TECHNOLOGIES ENG BLDG 41% In Progress week of 6/16
DRAMA MUSIC BUILDING 100% Complete week of 6/5
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS 100% Complete week of 6/5
AG BIO-TECHNOLOGY (ABL) 54% Complete
DODD RESEARCH CENTER (THOMAS J) 23% In Progress week of 6/9
STUDENT UNION 43% Scheduled 6/5 week of 6/16

Scheduling for quarters two through five are currently still in development. The second quarter schedule will be released by July 1st.   Locations will be scheduled by quarter, and sequence will be based on several factors including:  need, accessibility, contractor availability, and deployment efficiency.