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Dec. 2, 2004 • Volume 13 Number 7

University Among Best in Wireless Technology

Boston College placed 19th in a recent survey of the top 100 colleges and universities offering wireless Internet accessibility.

BC ranked between the University of Miami and Iowa State University. Indiana University at Bloomington was first in the survey, followed by Purdue University, University of Texas-Austin, Case Western Reserve University, Dartmouth College, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Akron, Western Michigan University, American University and St. John's University.

The survey was sponsored by Intel Corp. and conducted by Bert Sperling, a researcher who specializes in collecting and analyzing data for the nationally known "Best Places" surveys.

Findings were based on each institution's number of hotspots  locations that allow wireless high-speed connections to the Internet  undergraduates and computers, and its computer to student ratio. The results also were based on the percentage of each college campus that is covered by wireless technology. The data was collected from university interviews and documents and a variety of industry sources.

A baseline of 100 college campuses was compiled in part from analysis of "America's Most Connected Campuses," conducted by Princeton Review and published in Forbes magazine.

Boston College Vice President for Information Technology Marian Moore recounted a recent event she said demonstrates the great potential of wireless technology. "I was walking in the vicinity of the bus stop near McElroy Commons, and I saw a student running a psychology experiment on her lap-top, a project that involved studying the traffic on Beacon Street. Thanks to wireless technology, she was able to access and work with data she needed right then and there; she didn't need to be in a lab or use a desktop. It's something you couldn't imagine seeing here at BC 10 years ago.

"We've all recognized that wireless networking will continue to grow, not just on college campuses but in communities," said Moore. "Here at BC, we'll be making a concerted effort to upgrade our networks so they can run faster and more efficiently, and we'll continue to expand wireless access around campus."

Other Boston area and New England institutions in the survey include MIT (26), University of Vermont (35), Worcester Polytechnic Institute (60), Clark University (62) and Harvard University.

The survey can be viewed on-line at www.intel.com/personal/products/mobiletechnology/unwiredcolleges.htm.

-Sean Smith

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