September 22, 2003 Vol. VIII, No. 3

Campus Wireless Project Cuts Technological ÔTies That Bind'

Cal State Northridge on Way to Freedom from Jacks, Cables as Second Phase of Wireless Networking Progresses

Once tethered to network cables plugged into wall jacks in work stations or offices, Cal State Northridge computer users now are free to access their e-mail or surf the Internet in many areas of the campus: indoors, outdoors, under shady trees, even while enjoying snacks at The Exchange.

Information Technology Resources (ITR) now is in the second phase of a wireless networking service for all students, faculty and staff whose laptops and pocket PCs are configured for 802.11b WiFi wireless Ethernet service.

Wireless computing will enable users to communicate in meetings or classrooms, unrestrained by Ethernet cables.

"We project that the campus will have even greater wireless coverage by mid-October," said Yvonne Davis, director of network administration for Information Technology Resources. "Over time, we will continue to add wireless capability where we find it is needed."

Parking lots, for example, may be an area where more extensive wireless coverage would be useful, Davis said. Computer users on campus will continue to inform ITR about areas where stronger signal strength is needed.

The complex project, which began with a pilot program in December of 2001 and continued with phase one of its build-out schedule, has required the installation of nearly 200 transmitters inside campus buildings and additional transmitters on the sides of buildings and on rooftops.

To connect to the wireless network, which provides the same campus computer services available in an office or at a work station, users must:

Some of the areas currently designated as excellent to good signal strength zones include: all of Sierra Hall; Orange Grove Walk and vicinity; portions of campus parking lots; the southern section of West University Drive at University Hall and below; portions of Magnolia, Matador and Sierra Walks and neighboring areas; all of University Hall; the fourth floor of the Oviatt Library; all of Sequoia Hall and the area immediately adjacent on the east side; the southwest section of the Michael D. Eisner College of Education building; the auditorium area of the Engineering Building; the large areas surrounding The Exchange food service building; the Business College building; sections of the Kinesiology complex; the area south of the softball field and west of the tennis courts, and the Kinesiology field and vicinity.

Until all portions of the campus are joined to the wireless network, laptop and hand-held computer users will need to familiarize themselves with variances in signal strength from zone to zone.

@csun | September 22, 2003 issue
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