UBC Reports | Vol. 48 | No. 11 | Sep.
5 , 2002
UBC Launches Canada's Largest Campus Wireless Network
Computer users free to roam
By Brian Lin
UBC's students, faculty and staff no longer need to be chained
to their desks to be connected to the world.
This fall, 50 per cent of campus buildings will be hooked
up to an enormous campus wireless network - the largest in
Canada - allowing laptop and hand-held computer users to easily
access the Internet, communicate with others and still bask
in the warmth of the autumn sun.
For the past year, the University Network Program has been
building possibly the largest wireless network of any university
in North America. Access point transceivers have already been
installed in and outside of Koerner Library, in the War Memorial
Gym, Brock Hall, and Koerner Pub. By mid-2003, all classrooms,
labs, offices and some student social space will be wireless-compatible.
The wireless network is already having an impact on service
delivery at UBC and students will be the first to benefit
from the added freedom. In the first two weeks of September,
volunteers with wireless laptops will offer students waiting
in line at Brock Hall an opportunity to check their fees on-line.
"By providing an alternative to busy computer labs,
the new campus wireless Local Area Network will substantially
improve students' access to computing resources," says
Electronic and Computer Engineering Adjunct Prof. Dave Michelson,
who is a consultant on the project.
"Few organizations have deployed Wireless Local Area
Network (LAN) technology on this scale," Michelson adds.
"The lessons that we learn will in many cases represent
significant contributions to knowledge."
The deployment is part of UBC's e-Strategy to support work,
learning and research using on-line technologies. Wireless
networking will ensure intellectual and creative endeavors
aren't limited by the length of the telephone cord.
"This will create a new and exciting platform that will
provide unparalleled high speed mobile access to UBC information
systems and the Internet," says Project Manager Jonn
Martell, who expects students will soon develop innovative
ways to make wireless computing part of their learning experience.
The wireless network was designed to be very user friendly.
With the LAN card properly installed, the connection will
be automatic in designated areas. Users can then log in using
their Campus-wide Log-in, Interchange, or NetInfo user ID
and be instantly connected to the Web.
Many students are already taking advantage of existing wireless
compatible environments, such as the laptop loaner program
at the Chapman Learning Commons in the Main Library. Wireless
LAN cards will soon be made available through Koerner Library's
circulation desk. They are also available for sale at the
For more information and a complete list of wireless enabled
locations, visit http://www.wireless.ubc.ca.