As the technology needs of UF students are advancing, the Department of Housing and Residence Education, part of the Division of Student Affairs, is working to keep pace to deliver quality wireless service to on-campus residents and guests living or visiting the residence halls
Starting in 2015, the department developed a wireless standard called "World Class Wireless" and created a plan to upgrade the wireless infrastructure in the residence halls, improve IT Assistance, and provide additional services over wireless.
The World Class Wireless Standard
The World Class Wireless service standard provides a level of exceptional, consistent signal strength and data transfer rates in every on-campus resident's room, with a reliability comparable to a wired Ethernet connection. The standard combines various technology and support services.
Signal Strength and Signal-to-Noise Ratio
The standard requires that a wireless access point provide a signal strength of at least -60dB and an average signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 30dB in each residence hall. This is measured by wireless surveys conducted by Student Affairs IT's network engineers.
Highly Available Network Infrastructure
In order to provide consistent wireless signal, the network infrastructure has to be highly available. Wireless controllers, which manage the access points, are installed in pairs (primary and secondary). The secondary is constantly updated in the event that the primary fails.
Cisco Radio Resource Management
This technology allows wireless access points (APs) to be aware of the surrounding access points installed. The system can balance power levels of APs until they begin to bump into the signal from neighboring APs, creating wireless signal spheres.
Additionally, RRM allows for a self-healing option. If a wireless AP fails in one section, the system commands the other neighboring APs to increase power to make up for the loss of the AP. This eliminates an outage of service if one AP ceases to operate.
A well-defined support process for service interruptions is also required for World Class Wireless.
The Network & Systems Administration team monitors access point availability and responds to individual AP outages throughout the work day. If multiple AP outages cause a loss of service for residents, the IT Emergency process is initiated and staff respond immediately during the work day or after hours.
Support for Popular Media Devices
The final feature of the World Class Wireless standard is providing new and emerging services via wireless in a manner that keeps a resident's devices secured.
On-campus residents expect to use popular gaming and entertainment devices within their room via the wireless network. Student Affairs IT's network engineers perform on-going research and testing to support the popular wireless devices.
Currently, popular gaming systems like Xbox, Playstation, and Wii are now able to connect via wireless. Additionally, streaming devices like Apple TV, Google Chromecast, are now supported and can also be controlled by iPhone or Android devices.
We are working hard to complete the upgrade to World Class Wireless in all residence halls by the end of 2017. Use the legend below to determine install status.
Green = completed
Yellow = in progress
Red = not started
Broward Hall, Rawlings Hall
Graham Hall, Simpson Hall, Trusler Hall
Hume Honors Hall
Buckman Hall, Fletcher Hall, Murphree Hall, Sledd Hall, Thomas Hall
Cypress Hall, Yulee Hall, Mallory Hall, Reid Hall
East Hall (completed), North Hall (completed), Riker Hall (completed), Tolbert Hall (completed), Weaver Hall (by October 2017)
Beaty Towers (by November 2017), Jennings Hall (by November 2017)