College campuses…those braniacs aren’t just sucking up knowledge, the students and staff there are sucking up Wi-Fi as well. In fact, university-goers make up some of today’s most intensive users of web-based technology, be it streaming videos for presentations or searching databases for resource material needed to write that massive paper that in all likelihood they waited until the last minute to write and will now be up all night crunching out. Sound familiar?
The torrent of Wi-Fi devices campus networks must deal with is challenging to say the least. Case in point: Columbus State University (CSU), a bustling campus that’s part of the University System of Georgia. Students, professors, and staff at CSU rely on Wi-Fi for just about everything, from sending emails, accessing assignments, and submitting coursework to streaming video and playing Wii in the dorm. Until recently, weak capacity of the old network constantly undermined everyone’s ability to get things done.
“Today Wi-Fi is the only way that most campus users connect,” says Casey Hergett, CSU’s senior manager of database and infrastructure services. “So, it’s extremely important that we provide a great experience.”
To make good on that mission, CSU upgraded their network to an adaptive Xirrus Wi-Fi network, which eliminated coverage gaps, empowered the campus, and simplified the work of IT.
The results put the old network to shame. CSU’s previous Wi-Fi system was no match for the school’s older buildings, many of them constructed with thick walls that disrupted service. And the week of the last iOS release? Fuhgettaboutit! The old network actually collapsed under user load that day.
The new Xirrus solution delivers robust connectivity across all locations from dorms and classrooms to dining halls and libraries. The faculty already utilizes the high powered network to make instruction more creative by engaging their classes with wireless activities like quizzes and polls that students can quickly complete in even the most crowded lecture halls.
For IT, the Xirrus network opens up new responsive abilities even as it streamlines management. Xirrus adaptive Wi-Fi features programmable AP radios, which switch from 2.4 to 5 GHz with a few mouse clicks and lets IT instantly boost performance and respond to changing device patterns at a moment’s notice. Now users with the fastest devices stay connected to the best radio for their connection.
Xirrus Wi-Fi delivers expansive capacity that allows CSU to keep up with the “new normal” of data-heavy Wi-Fi usage. Rapid connection speeds now make data-intensive activities like video streaming and software updates a breeze.
“With Xirrus, Wi-Fi has become a utility,” says Hergett. “It’s stable, fast, and reliable. Faculty and students are using it in creative ways we didn’t anticipate, contributing to academic success.”
Campus leaders agree—the Xirrus solution optimizes connectivity and accelerates performance, enabling CSU to offer a more valuable and impactful education. “One year after Xirrus went live, I’m a firm believer – both in product quality and technical support,” says Abraham George, the university’s Vice President of IT and CIO.