Campus Wireless project now complete

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thanks to a recent expansion of wireless networking services on campus, students now have twice as many access points for Wi-Fi. IT Shared Services Data Communications in coordination with UNT's University Information Technology recently completed a major expansion of wireless networking services on the UNT Denton main and Discovery Park campuses. When the UNT wireless project started in December 2013 there were approximately 700 access points for students to access Wi-Fi. With the project now complete, there are more than 1,400 access points.

"This project has made a huge stride for the wireless network from the initial network that was installed for convenience to one that can now support a majority of the classrooms with a solid capacity to enhance the process of education for our students,” says C.R. Chevli, assistant director of Data Communications and lead coordinator for the campus Wi-Fi project.

The project consisted of three different phases. Phase I included installations to primarily academic buildings while Phase II focused on buildings with large areas, meeting rooms, event locations, and some outdoor areas. Phase III concentrated on the Eagle Student Services Center, Hurley Administration Building, Gateway Center, Coliseum, Physical Education Building, Terrill Hall, Performing Arts Center, East Classroom building, Oak Street Hall and Ken Bahnsen Gymnasium.

The primary focus of this project was to expand the wireless capability in academic areas and provide seamless connectivity for wireless users to all campus resources. In addition to adding more wireless access points both inside and outside of some buildings, the project included removing and reducing sources competing with the wireless system, which contributed to reduced system performance.

In general, each access point can now handle up to 60 users. Users should keep in mind that, the wireless system is a large shared resource and when they are in high traffic areas and the number of users increase, the level of service may vary.

UNT has always embraced a “bring your own device” environment on campus. But in the past few years there has been a significant growth of wireless devices being used ― everything from laptops, tablets and cellphones, to ticket scanners, ID card scanners, library book scanners, Apple TVs and robots for research. Online learning and testing and the many campus visitors also have contributed to the various demands on the network.

Jessica Hampton, a UNT student majoring in Mechanical and Energy Engineering enjoys use of Wi-Fi on campus.  Like many other student she often uses a cellphone, laptop and tablet while on campus. “It’s very nice to have access to Wi-Fi at school. I like to work on projects or homework in between classes” said Hampton.

Students, faculty and staff can now visit wifi.unt.edu if they have any questions about the network or if they have issues trying to access wireless on campus.

UNT System utilizes a wireless network designed with Aruba Networks equipment to provide wireless access on campus. Aruba Networks was recently acquired by HP in March, 2015. For more information about Aruba Networks visit www.arubanetworks.com