2. Background to the Project

In 2005, OUCS undertook a successful pilot project into wireless networking. Following on from this we introduced the OWL (Oxford Wireless Lan) service which enabled all colleges and departments across the University to connect their own wireless access-points onto this infrastructure. Underpinning this was the FroDo project which enabled a wireless service to be presented alongside the normal data service.

This has facilitated wireless provision in several locations across the University but it has been in a somewhat ad-hoc fashion and is dictated by the individual requirements and investment of the colleges and departments concerned.

Our proposal was to implement OWL Version 2 with a more coordinated approach using lightweight access-points managed through central wireless controllers. This would allow for improved roaming capabilities and all configuration, control and updating will be done through a central management system. This approach substantially reduces operational overheads.

The intention is to provide wireless access in public areas such as meeting rooms, libraries, lecture rooms and reception areas, where it would achieve maximum benefit. It is expected that internal staff will continue to use wired connections. If internal coverage is required, for whatever reason, there is scope for the unit to purchase additional wireless access-points through OUCS.

OUCS feels that the best way to determine which public areas need wireless the most is to ask the divisions themselves. Each of the five divisions has been asked to shortlist their preferred hotspot locations.

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