University Recognized for Wireless Technology Initiative

University Recognized for Wireless Technology Initiative

A prominent national publication recently lauded Boston College for its outstanding achievement in implementing wireless technology on campus.

ComputerworldROI named Boston College as one of its Wireless 25 Innovators for 2001, in recognition of the University's wireless local area network (LAN) project. BC was the only educational institution in the country selected as a Wireless 25 Innovator by ComputerworldROI, a bimonthly supplement to IDG's highly acclaimed weekly newspaper Computerworld.

"Computerworld is a leading publication and this is a prestigious award," said BC Director of Network Services Henry Perry.

Organizations selected as 25 Wireless Innovators demonstrated a measurable return on investment in wireless deployments and pilot programs, and documented a positive impact on customers and employees. Along with BC, ComputerworldROI chose Fidelity Investments, Ford, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Pfizer Inc. and United Parcel Service, among others.

"The Wireless 25 represent the best and the brightest, not to mention the boldest of business and technology strategists," said Julia King, executive editor of ComputerworldROI. "They're applying still-emerging and fast-changing technologies to solve critical business issues plus establish themselves as long term leaders in their industries."

The wireless LAN was a segment of an entire network upgrade undertaken by the University, according to Perry. BC's Network Systems Engineer Brian David and Chief Network Engineer Leo O'Shea worked closely with Rochester, NH-based vendor Enterasys Networks, Inc. to design the wireless network and install more than 350 access points throughout campus.

By last spring, said Perry, "all academic and administrative areas of campus were readied for wireless technology." The residence halls will be part of another phase. "Outside of the residence halls, there is no place on this campus that someone cannot use wireless technology," he said.

The uses of wireless technology are limitless, explained Perry. It allows students to use laptops in the dining halls and open spaces on campus, coaches to communicate on the football field, and faculty and students to function more efficiently in research laboratories. It is the technology's intrinsic advantages, such as "mobility and ease of use," combined with its near seamless installation that make BC's wireless network such a "good return on investment," added Perry. "We were able to preserve the woodwork and older architecture on campus, for example, and not dig up land to lay hard wire."

-Kathleen Sullivan


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