Coppin, Rush, CSU Fullerton Deploy Gigabit Wireless

Coppin State University in Baltimore, MD, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and California State University, Fullerton, have adopted BridgeWave Communications' gigabit wireless links to provide network connectivity on their campuses.

Coppin State sought a way to connect their main downtown Baltimore campus with new overflow classrooms located three miles away. They initially considered leasing dark fiber, but that meant a mandatory three-year agreement, at a cost of thousands of dollars per month. After evaluating several alternatives, they selected BridgeWave's GE80 wireless links as their network backbone between the two locations.

"We needed a flexible solution with fiber-equivalent performance for the copious amounts of voice and data traffic on our network," said Dick Rader, director of telecommunications. "We installed BridgeWave's radios in a couple of days - without long-term service provider contracts. The performance of BridgeWave's gigabit wireless links has been seamless, without any additional ongoing OPEX costs, and with very little support needed from our IT staff."

Rush University's Medical Center was expanding into a new facility and needed to connect remote leased space to the campus LAN in the main building. The connection would handle sensitive financial and medical information, so a highly secure and reliable network backbone was required. Rush investigated installing fiber, as fiber had been the de facto method of campus connectivity, but the investment for running new fiber cables to the building required up to $500,000 in installation and trenching costs.

"Installing fiber to connect the new building onto the LAN would have required a three week trenching job at a significant cost. We also needed a system that would provide a highly secure connection with superior performance," said Eric Schoedel, voice manager. "BridgeWave's gigabit wireless links were up in a day. Additionally, the network backbone has securely supported the financial and medical data to and from our data center and the links have five nines reliability despite poor weather conditions. We have already saved at least $200,000 by using BridgeWave's GigE radios."

When the 36,000-student California State University, Fullerton required more room, the university leased office space one block away across the street from campus. Budget and total deployment time was a key factor in the search criteria for a network connectivity solution. Dick Bednar, senior director of information technology, was charged with finding a solution that would not only be up and running in less than two months, but could effectively handle the bandwidth demands of a large university and the diverse applications that are transmitted across the network on a daily basis.

"We sought a solution that would provide high bandwidth to support voice and office applications for 50 users. In addition, we needed a gigabit of capacity for our technical programming staff preparing for a large PeopleSoft implementation," said Bednar. "Though we initially researched several options, we quickly realized that BridgeWave's gigabit wireless links would provide fiber-equivalent connectivity at a fraction of the cost. Our goal was to keep the PeopleSoft project on schedule, so speed of deployment was important to us. The BridgeWave GE60 radios were operating within a day, and we've been pleased with the results."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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