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Los Rios District Deploys 300-Access Point Wireless Network

The Los Rios Community College District, with four colleges in the Sacramento, CA area, has deployed wireless gear from Motorola. With 80,000 students the district wanted to provide a network that could accommodate the increasing use of notebook computers and wireless devices across the campuses, including all buildings, outdoor areas, and sport venues. In addition, the district wanted to reduce labor costs associated with Ethernet drops in portables and older buildings by relying on the wireless network to provide connectivity.

Los Rios installed about 300 Motorola's 802.11a/b/g AP300 and 802.11n AP-7131 access points, which it's managing with RFS6000 and WS5100 wireless switches. The district uses a mesh functionality of the AP-7131 to connect distant buildings when Ethernet isn't practical, such as when temporary connectivity is needed or when digging a trench for cabling isn't feasible.

"Our colleges seek to provide outstanding programs and services, and by [our] offering WiFi access, students can take advantage of vast online resources to easily access lecture notes, register for classes, or conduct research for assignments," said Mark Williams, network architect. "The network has also become the primary connection point for Internet access especially in older buildings and portables, leading our IT department to think about wireless by default and wired as needed."

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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