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Alabama A&M to Implement New Managed Campus WiFi

An Historically Black University has chosen to upgrade its wireless networking capacity through a managed service. Founded in 1875, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) recently announced that it had selected Apogee to implement a new high-speed WiFi network in its four colleges and at a 972-acre off-campus agricultural research station. Apogee is a managed services provider that focuses solely on higher education.

The network will work alongside an existing residential network. Apogee will also provide 24/7 support for users via phone, chat, text and e-mail and produce real-time location analytics to help the university understand facility usage.

"One of our 2021 strategic goals was to drastically improve our WiFi offering to meet the needs of the university in a world that is more connected than ever before," said Andrew Hugine, president of the institution, in a press release. "Our mobility dependence has increased exponentially over the past decade. With the average number of wireless devices jumping from 1.5 to five or more per user, keeping up with this demand in-house has become impractical given our staff and budgets."

The university said it hopes to improve connectivity, reliability, performance, IT service and support and financial predictability, with the new network, while freeing up IT staff to focus on other campus initiatives.

Another hope for the new network is that it will bolster campus safety.

"In response to COVID-19 and growing parental concerns over school-related emergencies, we needed to have the system be able to accurately locate users and devices across the campus as part of our life safety planning and contact tracing strategies," explained AAMU CIO Damian Clarke.

The implementation is expected to be in place by spring 2021.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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