Building on an initial successful installation, King Edward VI College Stourbridge wanted to expand its wireless coverage to its entire college campus to provide access to 1,500 students and staff. Total Integrated Communications (TIC), working closely with the college IT team and D-Link, completed detailed site surveys to ensure full coverage to meet with the demands of users in different locations, and implemented the solution in a short timeframe with minimal disruption.
Located in Stourbridge in Dudley, the college has a historic campus which has been sympathetically developed, blending old buildings with modern facilities. This mix of the old and new, traditional values and up-to-date teaching techniques, extends to IT and the provision of a network infrastructure to support that.
The new set-up from D-Link now includes ‘N’ standard wireless, with 80 access points spread across the entire college and Gigabit Ethernet switches bringing it right up to date with the best networking infrastructure available, all being managed by a D-link central (unified) controller.
The site-wide wireless is more in tune with the way teaching is delivered, and it also saves space where rather than having a dedicated IT suite where students would go to use the computers, they could access the network from any classroom. “It addresses the difference in the way children are learning. They can take their notebooks around the college campus or they can use their smart phone to look at something on the web.”
The implementation was designed to cause minimal disruption to the college, with all the equipment preconfigured off-site, all the ports and access points set up with the correct addresses so engineer’s onsite just had to set them in place, and test them. Although cabling took two weeks and installation a week, the jobs ran simultaneously so the whole project was completed in a two-week window.
The fact the network is a managed environment also makes life easier for the IT team. Being a managed solution, once a device is registered with the wireless it can be used anywhere around the college. In the past, each access point had independent configurations, whereas now if we change a setting or password on the system, it can be pushed out around the campus within a matter of minutes.
For the college, WiFi is also seen as a differentiator. “It is quite a big selling point. It does set us apart. Students don’t have to pay data charges to use their devices, so it helps from their viewpoint, and there’s this always on technology which they can use to look up some information to help with their studies.”
The set-up not only puts the college ahead of the curve today, it also allows it to develop going forward, with the ability to expand the network to cater for future growth or extra access requirements.
Based in the heart of the West Midlands, Total Integrated Communications (TIC) are specialist networking providers. They provide high quality infrastructure solutions to both direct and indirect clients predominantly in and around the Midlands area which enables them to be flexible and responsive to clients requirements . Operations Manager Ian Pagett can be contacted on 0121 213 6200, or on email@example.com