Northern Ireland's biggest college installs wireless network

The Belfast Institute, Northern Ireland’s largest further and higher education college, is deploying a Cisco Unified Wireless Network at its central campus to provide secure access to online learning resources.

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The Belfast Institute, Northern Ireland’s largest further and higher education college, is deploying a Cisco Unified Wireless Network at its central campus to provide secure access to online learning resources.

The network will also support mobile services, while radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging will be used to protect and monitor the college’s expensive equipment.

The wireless network will extend the institute's wired Cisco network to enable thousands of students and staff to access learning material, participate in online class discussions and submit assignments using laptops or mobile devices.

Alan Dummigan, head of the department of learning and teaching resources at the Belfast Institute, said: “The challenge of providing such flexibility and openness to students presents us with a big problem - almost exclusive to education providers – thousands of people accessing our network with computers over which we have little or no control.”

But the Cisco network’s security capabilities would allow the institute to provide greater accessibility and greater protection, he said.

Laptops and devices will have to comply with the institute’s security policies before they can connect to the network.

The institute will use the Cisco network’s centralised management system to identify and containment unauthorised access attempts. Plans of the campus will pinpoint where such attempts are made or where thieves are trying to steal equipment.

For more information, our sister site Techworld has a comprehensive wireless network resource page.

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