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Syracuse University launches five-year, $31.3 million project to rebuild campus network
Syracuse University launches five-year, $31.3 million project to rebuild campus networkOctober 30, 2006Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
New buildings are going up all over the Syracuse University campus as part of a long-range project to build state-of-the-art spaces for teaching, learning and research. A less visible, but equally important, construction project is also under way — rebuilding the SU network infrastructure.
The five-year, $31.3 million project will include upgrading network technologies in more than 200 academic, administrative and residential buildings on campus, expanding the AirOrange wireless network throughout campus, and rebuilding the fiber-optic cabling that both interconnects campus buildings and provides the University’s pathway to the global community.
“We are excited about the possibilities the network upgrade project offers the University community,” says Paul Gandel, SU vice president for information technology/chief information officer. “Our new network will provide connectivity for students, faculty and staff to work collaboratively with each other and engage the global community beyond our campus borders.”
The University network was originally built some 30 years ago — before e-mail, text messaging, cell phones and podcasting were invented; when computers required large rooms instead of pockets; when apple was just a fruit; and before Microsoft became a household word.
Twenty-first century technologies require a network infrastructure that can effortlessly transmit billions of pieces of data in all its forms — text, music, voice, digital, images, numbers, etc. The new network will be faster and more reliable. It will support an expanded wireless network that will meet the needs of an increasingly mobile campus community as well as new and emerging technologies such as real-time videoconferencing and video-on-demand, high-bandwidth connections for the research community, and the convergence of voice services into the data network.
Information Technology and Services (ITS) has worked collaboratively with campus leaders; faculty; the Office of Campus Planning, Design and Construction; Business, Finance and Administrative Services (BFAS); Academic Affairs; and the Chancellor’s Cabinet to develop a master plan to rebuild and maintain a new network infrastructure and to identify a funding mechanism for the project.
Under the plan, network construction in campus buildings that require the most work will be completed in five phases, the first of which is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2007. The reconstruction work will include replacing the network wiring and wall jacks throughout the buildings, installing new electronic technologies and rebuilding the rooms that house the network equipment. Buildings that do not require extensive reconstruction will receive new electronic technologies, work that has already begun. More information about the network upgrade project is available on the Web at http://its.syr.edu/network.
As part of this project, ITS has also begun an aggressive program to rebuild and expand AirOrange. The wireless network was expanded to include the Quad last summer, and students living in Marion, Kimmel, Flint and DellPlain residence halls returned to campus this fall to learn that they could connect to AirOrange from their residence hall rooms. Booth Hall is the most recent residence hall to be fully covered by AirOrange, and six more residence halls will join the 100 percent wireless club by spring 2007. A complete list of current and future AirOrange locations is available on the Web at http://its.syr.edu/connecting/wireless.