Wired vs. Wi-Fi —College Isn’t What It Used to Be

Wendy By: Wendy Stanton, Marketing Manager

I’m going to age myself but I can’t help but think how far technology advancement in education has come. During my college years, I did have a computer but it was really just a fancy typewriter. I had no Internet access—heck cell phones didn’t even exist yet. I went to the library for research and yes, I carried around books for each class. Professors taught from text books and grades were posted outside the classroom door.. Boy—those were the days.

Fast forward 20+ years and my two daughters’ college experience is much different. From the moment the application process begins, students have specific expectations about what the college has to offer in order to even be considered, and for the majority of students, reliable Wi-Fi is number one. Students are coming from high schools that have already implemented digital curriculums, and they expect to build upon that foundation. Times have definitely changed and there’s really no need to even go to a library; the majority of learning will be on or with a connected mobile device. Whether it’s enrolling for the semester, writing a paper, checking on grades or showing off great memories on social media—it all comes down to Wi-Fi.

Western Sydney University located in Sydney, Australia, has seen the benefits of deploying reliable Wi-Fi. Its eight campuses, situated over 18 square kilometers with over 550 buildings, serve 43k students and 5k staff. WSU moved to 802.11ac Wave 2 so students and faculty would experience a bigger performance boost due to the explosion of mobile devices being used. WSU was looking for a solution that could provide both the capacity and capability in the wireless access points themselves, and also the management tools to ensure that all users get the best experience.  After a strong proof-of-concept was demonstrated, Ruckus outperformed all other vendors and the  superior products provided necessary coverage for WSU. WSU deployed indoor and outdoor access points, providing seamless coverage throughout the campus using the virtual SmartZone (vSZ) to manage the access points; in addition, they also installed SPoT and SmartCell to drive analytics needs. The vSZ platform gives the network the capability to grow and adapt to the changing needs of the university.

They’ve experienced a 30-40% increase in the number of connections, not to mention a better user experience for students and faculty. Take a look at our case study and video to learn how Ruckus has future-proofed WSU’s network.

I wish Wi-Fi and smart mobile devices existed during my college days—what a huge difference. However, it makes me happy knowing my daughters are having the best student experience at their universities. And yes—they are equipped with reliable Wi-Fi.

 

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