New system allows Texas State to go wireless across campus

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
July 23, 2007

Texas State University-San Marcos has installed a new computer networking system that has allowed virtually the entire campus to “go wireless.”

The installation was done by Texas State office of Information Technology/Technology Resources along with DTS Inc. The network was built using state-of-the-art Cisco Wireless Mesh technology, which allows access points to be managed and deployed outdoors cost effectively, requiring fewer wired connections to the university campus network.

Patrick Brennan of Texas State IT led the project. He said, “This technology allows easier placement of access points in open areas such as parking lots and playing fields and makes virtually the entire campus -- indoors and outdoors -- a WI-FI ‘hot spot.’”

Brennan said the network will be secure and will have an optional encrypted service for users in need of a more secure connection.

The new system provides campus wide wireless internet access for laptop computers, tablet PCs, and PDAs. Other uses are also possible, including radio frequency identification tags to track equipment, the ability for university police to download data to computers in their patrol cars, and the ability for faculty and staff to make their desk-top phone numbers mobile across campus.

Van Wyatt, vice president of information technology at Texas State, said, “We are among the early adopters of this technology. According to Cisco, it is employed by only about five percent of United States college campuses. As much as it can offer us now, it is exciting to know that there are many new applications we may see in the future.”

David Yuan, marketing manager of Cisco Mobility Solutions, said Texas State is among the leaders of a trend for colleges extending wireless networks from indoor to outdoor areas.

 “This will provide their students with a positive educational experience by having the ability to access e-learning content anytime and anywhere on campus,” said Yuan.