1. Extension of the duct and optical fibre cable network
The duct and optical fibre cable network extends to all colleges and virtually all university buildings. It also extends to the Radcliffe Infirmary, the John Radcliffe, Churchill, Nuffield Orthopaedic, Warneford and Park Hospitals.
In other areas colleges have themselves funded the installation of ducts and optical fibre cable. These projects require the University Surveyors Office to initiate the duct installation and arrange the Local Authority Wayleaves if ducting on the public highway is required. The installation of optical fibre cabling will involve the Computing Services to specify how it should be connected into the existing network.
Although a duct and optical fibre cable installation has a high capital cost it will provide service for a very long time at very high bandwidths and with negligible recurrent costs.
2. Wireless LAN
There are various products on the market which use the unregulated 2.4GHz ISM waveband for short distance data communication. A pilot installation between the Engineering Tower block which is acting as a base station and an annexe of St Annes college, Linton Rd was installed in autumn 1996 using equipment supplied by ASK Communications Ltd.
Any proposed installation will require line of sight between the building to be connected and a base station which will require an optical fibre connection to the University Data Network. The Engineering Tower block base station has been set up to serve buildings to the north, however additional equipment could be installed to provide connections from other directions.
The present antenna in use projects a beam with a 20 degree spread from centre and has a range of approximately 2Km. Other recently developed antenna are available which have a longer range.
The equipment supplied by ASK Communications Ltd operates at 2Mbit/sec and this bandwidth can be shared by several remote sites linking back to a single base station.