Wireless Network Helps Lower Law School's Infrastructure Costs - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Wireless Network Helps Lower Law School's Infrastructure Costs

Hofstra University School of Law lowers networking infrastructure costs by installing in-building wireless data network.

For law students at Hofstra University, there's no escape from coursework. And both students and university administrators like it that way. Students and teachers at Hofstra's School of Law are connected via an in-building wireless data network, which has increased student satisfaction and lowered networking infrastructure costs for the school.

At the Hempstead, N.Y., law school, cell phones and PDAs are as common as backpacks and textbooks. Students can sit in a courtyard and use notebook computers and wireless modems to link to the network to conduct research, work on joint projects, and communicate via instant messaging and E-mail.

The law school installed the network a year ago because a wired LAN with similar reach would've been far more expensive and because the wireless version offers a degree of flexibility that modern students seek, school officials say.

The faculty also uses the network to create course-specific Web pages and post information such as class syllabuses, lecture presentations, supplemental reading, links to other resources, and group assignments and quizzes.

Before the wireless network was installed, professors set up their own Web pages, but those pages didn't have nearly the same level of interactivity that's possible when students can access the data on their notebooks while sitting in a lecture, say professors that have embraced the technology. "I couldn't teach without [the wireless network] now," says Andrew Schepard, the school's civil procedure professor. Schepard puts all his class material online and says he likes the fact that resources on the Internet provide the most up-to-date information available.

Students like using the network, too. "You have a complete library at your disposal; you don't even have to leave your chair," says Ely Levy, who just completed his first year of law school at Hofstra. Levy estimates he's connected to the wireless network two to three hours a day during the semester and all the time right before finals.

The network uses the 802.11b standard for wireless LANs and consists of nearly 30 wireless access points installed throughout the law school's building. The access points are radio transceivers mounted unobtrusively high on walls and in corners in strategic spots to provide widespread coverage. They send data to and from students' notebooks and are linked to the school's LAN and the Net.

The law school uses RoamAbout wireless LAN products from Enterasys Networks Inc. for the network. It already used several LAN switches from Enterasys in its data network, so choosing the vendor for the wireless portion of the network made sense, says Gary Moore, assistant dean for IS.

At least 65% of the school's first-year students (about 200) have their own notebooks. To access the wireless network, students either buy a wireless 802.11b card ($126) or borrow one free from the school. "We're one of the few law schools that uses [the technology], so it gives us a real edge" in attracting students, Moore says. And it gives the school's hipness quotient a boost.

The law school factored installation expenses into its decision to go with a wireless data network instead of conventional wired LAN access ports. In 1997, the last time the law school installed LAN cabling, it spent $48,000 to install 120 Ethernet LAN ports. In comparison, the wireless network cost about $12,000 to install in part because it required only about 30 access points to obtain the same coverage. Each access point and port cost around $400.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Slideshows
Top-Paying U.S. Cities for Data Scientists and Data Analysts
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/5/2019
Slideshows
10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/1/2019
Commentary
Is the Computer Science Degree Dead?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  11/6/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll