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Purdue Builds Out 802.11n Network with 6,000 Access Points

Purdue University is building out an 802.11n wireless network begun earlier this year. The final network will encompass more than 6,000 access points in 256 buildings across its West Lafayette campus. The installation is being built and deployed by Verizon Business using Cisco gear. Completion is expected during the 2010-2011 school year.

The wireless network will give Purdue's community of 51,000 students and faculty access to numerous Purdue-developed and third-party applications, including:

  • Hotseat, a social networking application that allows students to establish communities of interest for aggregating and exchanging communications from social media sites. In addition, students can provide real-time feedback to faculty during courses.
  • Signals, an application that provides students with real-time academic progress reports and course information via mobile devices.
  • Echo360, a lecture-capture program that streams recorded video and audio from lectures on mobile devices.
  • eStadium, a student initiative to provide a wireless, mobile, and interactive system to enhance a spectator's involvement and understanding of stadium games by delivering such features as biographical information about players, news and statistics, and a friend location service. The wireless network will support video replays of live athletic events on mobile devices.

"With our all-mobile campus strategy, Purdue is redefining 'everywhere,' and allowing students, faculty and researchers to collaborate anywhere on campus," said Gerry McCartney, vice president and CIO. "Purdue is already known for providing instructional resources for our students electronically and for providing cloud computing resources for the world's scientists. Now, mobile applications like Signals, HotSeat, and eStadium are only the start of what Purdue will develop to help drive student success with timely graduations."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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