Wireless Network Access to Expand at Cedarville University

by Public Relations Office

Cedarville, Ohio—Cedarville University has announced a significant expansion of wireless network access on its 400-acre campus. This expansion will involve installation of a "first of its kind" technology. For some time, Cedarville University has provided wireless network access in all classrooms, common areas such as the dining hall and library, and in the residence hall lounges. As Dr. David Rotman, director of computer services, explained, "As student use of wireless devices has grown, the University wanted to make wireless access available in outdoor areas and in the bedroom areas of the residence halls. This fall`s improvements include a permanent installation covering outdoor areas and a pilot project covering the bedroom areas of four residence halls." Cedarville University will be the first university in the eastern United States to install advanced wireless networking by 5G Wireless Communications. 5G, whose other clients include UCLA and Cal State Long Beach, distinguishes itself from its competitors by using a minimal number of cellular-style base stations to achieve a low coverage cost per acre. This month, 5G will position just two sets of high-gain antennas at CU (one on the radio tower, one on the water tower) to blanket the campus. Students will be able to use standard 802.11b wireless cards to gain network access. As a complementary project, Cedarville will install wireless access in the bedroom areas of Printy, Lawlor, McKinney, and McChesney residence halls. Rotman stated, "Historically, such a project would have required significant cabling to each access point and substantial cost for the access points. The pilot project currently underway includes the use of customized wireless routers. These routers will be placed in selected bedrooms using existing cabling. The routers have been modified to provide enough power to penetrate the concrete block walls which are typical in the bedroom areas of the residence halls. If the pilot project is successful, the routers will be installed in all of the residence halls." This expansion of wireless access continues Cedarville`s history of technological innovation. The University introduced the "CedarNet" network in 1992 to connect more than 2,400 PCs across campus with the Internet, e-mail, and more than 200 instructional software programs. Each residence hall room was equipped with a PC and printer. Also in 1992, IBM selected Cedarville as a National Showcase Partner. In 1997, CAUSE (now known as EDUCAUSE), the association for managing and using information technology in higher education, ranked Cedarville as the top campus network in the nation among institutions with annual operating budgets of less than $100 million. For more information, call Rotman at 937-766-7905. -30-