Digital Media

Rochester Institute of Technology Ramps Up Streaming Video

Rochester Institute of Technology in New York has installed a new wireless network in an effort to beef up access to collaborative technologies and to distribute educational materials and replays of major campus events. For the deployment, RIT used Cisco 802.11n wireless gear and Cisco VideoStream.

The campus spans 5.3 million square feet and serves 17,000 students. The installation required 3,400 802.11n access points, 32 Wireless Service Modules (WiSMs), and a Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS). The resulting network now supports a variety of mobile collaborative applications and services, including video channels for redistribution of educational materials and broadcasts of events.

"We wanted to work with a leader that could provide the most proven and innovative 802.11n network in order to support the long-term mobile academic and recreational needs of our active and diverse student population," said Jeanne Casares, CIO. "RIT deployed a Cisco media-ready wireless network that delivers converged data, voice, and video services anywhere on campus. [This] serves as the foundation to support a growing number of mobile video and voice applications that can make a positive difference by enhancing the collaborative learning experience for students, which ultimately can help drive student success."

RIT is deploying the VideoStream technology to deliver video relay and transcription services to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The video relay services allow students to use laptops and other mobile devices to view close-captioned lectures, visual signing, and transcription services in real-time. RIT's student population includes about 1,100 deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Rochester has also deployed Cisco's Mobility Services Engine (MSE) and Context-Aware applications to better deliver technical support services to mobile users. With the Context-Aware solution, IT staff can view the exact location of a user requiring support. This capability also lets help desk staff identify and mitigate rogue devices on the wireless network, track usage of the wireless network to better evaluate high-usage wireless areas, and deploy access points.

The institution has tested additional applications across the wireless network including voice over IP services for faculty, using Cisco Unified Wireless 7925 IP phones. RIT said it plans to deploy additional voice and video services over the wireless LAN in the near future.

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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