The concept of online learning and self-teaching has been widely adopted. With the rising popularity of online courses, students now expect to be able to connect to their educational resources at anytime, anywhere. From online live lectures and webinars to e-books and other online resources, it’s clear that the Internet has become a powerful teaching tool in education.
Wi-Fi connectivity helps in seamless teaching and learning. The role of wireless campuses in the enhancement of the teaching-learning process is vast. With Wi-Fi access throughout the campus, information is just a click away. The wireless campus also supports everyday activities seamlessly in classroom contexts.
Universities & colleges need a flexible, cost-effective, and future-proof network infrastructure that enables students and staff to connect with ease and throughout the whole campus.
Key Challenges in a Campus
Nowadays, institutions compete for students, and campus experience plays a large part in the decision-making process for prospective undergraduates and postgraduate students. Students demand high-quality, reliable Wi-Fi experiences not only in the classroom but also during free time when they’re streaming Netflix, YouTube, etc., or accessing online resources. More and more, potential and current students judge the quality of a university by its wireless network, and an underperforming Wi-Fi network can impact the institution’s bottom line.
For university CIOs and their IT staff, the design and upkeep of campus Wi-Fi networks was once a moderately straightforward undertaking. Today, however, the situation is totally different. Campuses are now facing key challenges:
I. A larger user base is trying to connect
There are masses of users (students, Faculty members & guests) trying to connect to College Wi-Fi and most of them have at least two devices that they want to connect. With demands like that across campuses, colleges need to take steps to ensure that students are able to access what they need for education and entertainment.
If your institution isn’t accounting for this vast user base and its ramifications in terms of bandwidth, coverage, and security, you can bet that students and staff are experiencing problems with your network.
II. Bandwidth management
One of the biggest challenges that most campuses deal with is issues surrounding bandwidth. Some users consume all the bandwidth and others are left with no connection or poor connectivity. In order to keep up with your user’s expectations & demands, location-based access restrictions for students and other similar policy controls are some of the controls that campuses need.
III. Accountability & Content Filtering
Complying with local laws and ensuring objectionable content is blocked is a key requirement of campus networks. There are today thousands of websites linked with terror networks and cybercrime which may adversely impact the student community. With growing security concerns, particularly from unverified visitors in public hotspots, most campus owners are looking for ways to track the network activity of Wi-Fi users. Having logs to investigate cybercrimes is critical for any public hotspot.
IV. BYOD Brings Increased Demand and Challenges
The fact is BYOD puts a heavy strain on a campus’ bandwidth, and dealing with the issue requires more than simply telling users to limit their usage. Does your wireless networking infrastructure enable your IT professionals to have a high level of application visibility and control? Have you developed policies to prioritize different applications and devices accessing the network? If the answer is no, this is a pretty big indicator that your campus Wi-Fi network may be failing and you need to take action now.
V. Your Network Is Unsecured
There’s no room for error when it comes to protecting student and staff information, so it’s crucial to ensure that your campus Wi-Fi network is protected from cyber threats like ransomware and other dangerous intrusions. Securing your wireless network must be a top priority when you’re dealing with hundreds to thousands of users connecting through multiple devices at every moment of the day. If you’re allowing guests to connect to the main network and you’re not ensuring robust protection against intrusions, your campus Wi-Fi network is failing.
Campuses often act as ISPs providing paid broadband services to on-campus student housing and usage-limited monthly plans. Managing the recurrent billing and collection of such services is a key challenge to the monetization of services.
VII. Portal & Dashboard
Users also need Self-service tools to check their network activity, view usage, pay bills, and change network passwords.
Inventum’s offering allows your campus to benefit from fast, reliable Internet service. Now, institutions can flexibly connect staff and students with ease, while enjoying peace of mind that access is secure and controlled.
Inventum’s MSG gateways offer a single-stop solution for campus networks. The all-in-one appliance combines the functions of a router, firewall, NAC, user directory & more in a ready-to-deploy solution. Administrators can directly connect WAN & LAN links to the appliance for end-to-end operations & management of their Wi-Fi networks.
It can also set a speed limit per student, limit download volume, and ensure fair bandwidth distribution. Built-in firewall secures the network, filtering content and keeping browsing logs for legal compliance.
For end-point connectivity, Institutions can also use Inventum’s udaya series of products which are all managed centrally from a public cloud including configuration, monitoring, captive portals, SMS sign-on, payment gateway interfaces, and analytics.
Campuses with multiple locations can consider our zero capex cloud solution to get started immediately. The offering includes virtual routers as part of the subscription allowing any server on campus to be used as a gateway router for the hotspot(s). All other elements are managed via the UNIFY™ Cloud platform with no additional on-site hardware required. All you need are Wi-Fi access points to get started!
- Easy setup & management
- Easily scalable
- Excellent price-to-performance value
- Many Models to Choose From