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Making wireless waves

Walk into most buildings on campus, open your laptop and you will instantly have access to the Queen’s network.

No wires, no fuss.

[Students working on laptops]
Queen's now has indoor wireless coverage in all large buildings on campus, which enhances collaboration between students and faculty members.

“We have implemented wireless service to more than 35 buildings that previously had little to no coverage,” says Gail Ferland, Associate Director of Infrastructure, Information Technology Services (ITS). “We now have indoor wireless coverage in most buildings on campus, including all the large buildings which is a significant milestone to celebrate. The vision we are working towards is to have complete coverage in all buildings.”

Eric Carstens, a professor in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, welcomes the improved connectivity in Botterell Hall. Before the installation of the new wireless service in the building, faculty, staff and students could only access the Queen’s network through a hardwired Ethernet port. That meant that ports had to be installed and activated in every location where a computer was used.

Easy access to the Queen’s network anywhere in the building will improve productivity and enhance collaboration between faculty members and students, according to Dr. Carstens.

“I can take my laptop to any lab, seminar room, classroom or office and have complete access to the Queen’s network without carrying around a cable and hoping there is a live port somewhere in the room,” he says. “We can even have discussion in the hallways, using our laptops as a resource. It also means that I can easily connect, wirelessly, to the desktop computers in my labs that were not plugged into an active port, making it easy to access data on those computers from anywhere in the building.”

As part of the final phase of the multi-year project, ITS is currently expanding wireless service in campus buildings that don’t already have complete coverage during the final phase of the project. A ubiquitous wireless environment in Queen’s buildings is expected to occur during the 2015-16 budget year.

ITS is also implementing further enhancements to ensure users are automatically directed to the best access point for connecting to the Queen’s network. Queen’s now has more than 2,000 access points serving campus, an increase of 25 per cent from last year.

A campus map provides updates on wireless locations on campus. There is also a document on the ITS website that gives users helpful tips on ways they can improve their wireless experience on campus, especially during peak usage times such as exams.

If you have any questions, contact the IT Support Centre