Wednesday, May 04, 2005

At Dartmouth, Advanced Wi-Fi

This sounds pretty sweet.

A major wireless convergence project that has taken Dartmouth's phone, cable and wireless systems and condensed them into one Wi-Fi network. The switch, which started in 2001 and will be complete with the wireless cable rollout this fall, includes the addition of 1,400 wireless access points and 24,000 wired ports across the campus of the 236-year-old college, the first in the country to completely integrate its communications systems into a wireless infrastructure.

The first phase of the cable rollout will put the school's cable television system online. After that, students, professors and anyone else on the overall network will be able to make up his or her own "channel," showing movie clips, video projects or presentations with cable-quality video.

Students will be able to catch the latest episode of MTV's "Pimp My Ride" or any other television show anywhere on campus - including in class.

Dartmouth standardized its wireless protocol and increased its capacity by uniting two versions of wireless, 802.11b and 802.11g, on its central server, both of which can be retrieved anywhere off campus with wireless access and a Dartmouth computer or port.

College officials said that Dartmouth saved $2.07 million by updating and condensing its current system instead of replacing it, and saves nearly $1 million annually on maintenance, cabling and salary costs.
Not clear to me how exactly they are getting cable TV over wireless. Is it VOD, or is it still broadcast based where you have to turn to a channel (and therefore still need a Tivo). And how much total bandwidth do they have? Can every student really be watching a different channel at the same time and not bring down the system? But very, very cool not the less.

via New York Times

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