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As Quinnipiac continues to grow the issue has been raised about what the school is planning to do to provide universal network access for the new campuses. While the three Quinnipiac campuses will be miles apart from one another, they will still be well connected and easily accessible.
“Regardless of where you are on any campus, your laptop should connect seamlessly,” said Quinnipiac Information security officer Brian Kelly.
This easy access will not be truly tested, though, until fall 2009, when the last of the campuses, the North Haven campus, is connected. That campus will be difficult for those planning out accessibility here because it poses a resource and distance challenge.
According to Vice President-Chief Information and Security Officer Richard Ferguson, this challenge includes both the physical laying of wires and fibers, known as the ‘pipeline’ and also the decision of what is transferred through the wires and fibers.
“Quinnipiac has had to look over both the physical and digital aspects of fibers,” Ferguson said.
The last part, about what travels through the pipeline, might be an obstacle for Quinnipiac.
“The school wants the freedom to use the pipeline, not the service that goes along with it,” Ferguson said.
Since few companies provide wiring with the freedom to use it however one wants, Quinnipiac has had to search hard for a company that provides the necessary services.
Another challenge in the planning process, or the ‘infrastructure for connectivity,’ was preparing for the addition of more student and staff connections with the school’s network over a larger area. “Basically going from a local area network to a wide area network,” Kelly said.
So far, the planning has gone well for those involved. Much of the planning for the North Haven campus is based on that which went into the York Hill campus, which is where the TD Banknorth Sports Center is located.
The York Hill campus also provided some learning opportunities to planners because it required a slightly different network set-up. The TD Banknorth network needed to be ready for people doing business and not so much students and staff doing work.
“It was different with individual users using different computers and different set-ups,” Kelly said.
This will change though, once the York Hill campus is completed and the Student Center and proposed dorms are built.
According to those involved with the planning the most time consuming part will not be the physical work involved, but rather the planning process itself.
“Preparation is where a lot of the time goes. By the end of the next calendar year we’ll have a good plan on what we want to do. We will have engaged the contractors and we’ll be well positioned by July 2009,” Ferguson said.
Quinnipiac hopes to have the North Haven campus, which will be for mostly graduate students, up and running with full connectivity by the fall semester of 2009.