By Carlo Cernivani
December 14, 2011
In 2004, ITS foresaw the impact of emerging wireless technologies and began rolling out NYURoam, NYU's wireless access network. For years, the NYURoam service has been expanding and evolving—initially deployed in locations that were considered to be student-centric, then expanding to meet demand from departments and schools across the University in locations such as lounges, library spaces, classrooms, and other academic and administrative areas.
Over the years, wireless access has become an increasingly integral part of how the NYU community stays connected and pursues its academic and administrative goals. When the fledgling NYURoam service was launched in the Fall 2004 semester, it was used by just over 6,000 individuals. During the Spring 2011 semester, over 45,000 NYU-affiliated individuals logged into NYURoam, not including those who used the Guest wireless network.
This demand for wireless connectivity was also reflected in requests from students in NYU residence halls, who have long had Internet access via hardwired data jacks, but expressed ever-increasing interest in having access to NYURoam from their rooms. In 2009, recognizing the importance of campus-wide wireless access, the University committed funding for a four year project to deliver wireless data service to "all usable space provided by the University," including NYU's 20 residence halls and the remaining academic and administrative spaces without NYURoam coverage.
Since that time, ITS has done a tremendous amount of work to achieve that goal, deploying approximately 2,800 wireless access points (APs), over 1,700 of which are located in NYU's residence halls. NYURoam is now available in 75% of residence halls, and connecting the remaining 25% is the focus of our current efforts. Based on current progress, all residence halls are expected to be "lit up" prior to the Fall 2012 term—a year ahead of schedule.
Along with expanding coverage, much effort has been made to ensure the speed and reliability of the NYURoam network. The latest NYURoam hardware supports the IEEE 802.11n standard, allowing for connection speeds of up to 144 Mbps. All access points are monitored and managed by central wireless LAN controllers (WLCs) located at strategic points around the campus. Each of these controllers has a standby WLC at a different location on NYU's network, providing full service redundancy in the event of a WLC failure.
For a complete list of all locations with NYURoam wireless service, see the NYURoam Wireless: Access Locations page.
Carlo Cernivani is a Senior Project Manager for Planning and Implementation within ITS' Communications & Computing Services.