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University Library tests high speed wireless internet

22 September 2014

‘Wireless internet in the University Library will be 10 to 20 times faster.’ The Center for Information Technology of the University of Groningen is to conduct a pilot project on the fourth floor of the University Library to test this claim. In theory, speeds of 600 MB/second will be possible thanks to Cisco’s new Dimension Data technology.

802.11ac technology: the new standard

‘You need a fairly new smart phone, tablet or laptop to get the full benefit,’ explains Tom Kuipers, network specialist at the University of Groningen. ‘Your device must support 802.11ac, the new standard for high speed wireless internet. The more antennae your smart device has, the faster your internet will be.’ A few years from now, everyone will have a device that can use this network. In addition to the ac technology, new cabling (CAT 6A) has also been laid to process the huge volumes of data traffic.

Better internet for all

Despite the fact that many old devices are not fully compatible with the new technology, they will still feel the benefits of the new network. ‘The current network in the University Library was becoming slower and less accessible due to the sheer numbers of people using it. It simply couldn’t cope with the data traffic. The ac technology means that you no longer have to sit in a corner of the building to watch HD video lectures or make video calls to your family in China,’ says Mischa van Delden, IT Manager at the University Library. As so many people now use the wireless network, IT experts had to find a way of making the Wi-Fi as fast as a wired connection. Van Delden wants to test the new network thoroughly: ‘I’m going to really put it through its paces, for example by asking as many people as possible to simultaneously launch a HD video on YouTube. That will be a true test of the network.’ The pilot project on the fourth floor of the Library will last until December.

University Library ready for the future

Improving the wireless network is part of ongoing renovation work in the University Library. The building will be given more workstations, a better layout and a technical basis that will take it into a sustainable, digital future. For more information about the renovation and High Speed Internet, go to: www.rug.nl/ub2020 .

Last modified:22 September 2014 08.46 a.m.
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