2021 WiFi Infrastructure Replacement

Lewis & Clark’s WiFi infrastructure has been funded for replacement during the 2021/22 fiscal year.

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The number one priority for the IT Infrastructure and Operations team is to replace the residence hall WiFi infrastructure before CAS residents move in for the Fall 2021 term. This aligns IT with the College’s plans to enhance the student experience at Lewis & Clark. This plan is still on track but could be impacted by product limitations due to the global chip shortage.

The second priority is to replace the academic WiFi infrastructure. This includes academic spaces for the Grad, Law, and CAS campuses. Scheduling for this phase will work around the academic schedules to ensure that the classroom experience is not adversely impacted.

The third priority is to replace the WiFi infrastructure in administrative spaces.

Finally, some funding was allocated to accommodate WiFi services for the most popular outdoor spaces. This will be the final effort of the project.

About 450 wireless access points will be replaced with about 1,300 wireless access points. The majority of these devices will be installed in the residence halls.

A new WiFi infrastructure sounds fun and exciting but please keep in mind that WiFi as a technology is still subject to the limitations of the technology as well as the relationship between the device (i.e. your phone) and the Lewis & Clark WiFi infrastructure. This will not be the magic wand that makes everything better. If you are currently experiencing issues with the WiFi network, please contact the IT Service Desk. If you do not report problems then they cannot be fixed.

The IT Infrastructure and Operations group is excited to share more information about the WiFi infrastructure replacement with you in the near future. If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Timeline:

  • 2019
    • Investigate WiFi infrastructure options
      • Consult with Gartner, peers, and service partners
    • Pilot WiFi option from Aerohive in Juniper residence hall
      • Pilot failed; product was not able to meet Lewis & Clark’s needs and was a step in the wrong direction
  • 2020
    • Formulate plan using Aruba network infrastructure hardware and software
    • Request capital funding for fiscal year 2021/2022
  • 2021
    • Funding approved for fiscal year 2021/2022
      • June 1, 2021 - funding available
    • June 2021
      • Receive hardware
      • Install core infrastructure for WiFi service
    • July 2021
      • Install and replace WiFi access points in residence halls
    • August through Fall terms 2021
      • Replace WiFi access points in academic areas for GSEC, Law School, and CAS
  • 2022
    • Winter 2022
      • Finish academic areas
      • Replace WiFi access points in administrative areas for Grad, Law, and Fir Acres campus
    • Late Winter / Early Spring 2022
      • Install WiFi in exterior spaces in time for the Spring weather

 

Current Status

  • October 21, 2021
    • Work begins today at GSEC to install wireless access points. LC Secure and LC Wireless networks will remain operational until the work is fully complete.
    • Look forward to PioNet replacing LC Secure and PioNet-Guest replacing LC Wireless.
  • September 1, 2021
    • We identified an issue with IP address allotment that specifically impacted the ethernet ports on the access points in the residence halls. This has been corrected.
    • All hardware for the academic and administrative spaces has been received. This keeps our timeline well on track.
  • August 31, 2021
    • The WiFi service in the residence halls has exceeded expectations. However, there are localized issues that we are troubleshooting. This is expected. Please continue to let us know if you experience any issues, it is the only way we can fix problems.
  • August 27, 2021
    • Received about 1/3 of hardware needed for academic and administrative WiFi replacements
  • August 25, 2021
    • All residence halls are functional with PioNet-Resident and PioNet-Guest
    • LC Wireless and LC Secure is now only available in the following areas within residence halls
      • Maggie’s Café
      • Administrative offices in Odell Hall
      • Administrative offices in East Hall
  • August 24, 2021
    • All residence halls are functional with PioNet-Resident and PioNet-Guest, except for Copeland. Copeland is still in progress but much of it is complete.
    • LC Wireless and LC Secure have been turned off in the following residence halls:
      • Forest
        Hartzfeld
        Holmes
        Howard
        Platt
    • LC Wireless has been turned off in the following residence halls:
      • Apartments
        SOA
  • August 18, 2021
    • About 85% of wireless access points are now operational. The work on the room additions in Copeland has slowed our pace a bit more than we anticipated but we are still on track to be fully operational by the start of NSO.
    • An issue impacting the proper functionality of the ethernet ports on the WAPs was identified and resolved
  • August 16, 2021
    • Res Halls remaining for full operation: Copeland, Platt, occupied Apartments. Any other Residence Hall can be considered operational for PioNet-Guest and PioNet-Resident.
    • A news story will publish on Information Technology’s site on August 20 and via The Source on August 23.
  • August 13, 2021
    • While the WiFi hardware is ready for service, not all access points are connected to the network. As of the time of this posting, about 66% of the wireless access points in the residence halls are online and functional.
  • August 12, 2021
    • WiFi infrastructure hardware is ready for service. Will communicate via The Source and to Campus Living staff.
    • How to connect
  • August 11, 2021
    • Some residence hall hardware is functional (about 200 access points)
    • WiFi infrastructure configuration is close to completion.
    • Documentation in production
    • Testing functionality
  • August 9, 2021
    • Residence Hall hardware installed, non functional
      • Except for occupied rooms in East, Roberts, West
    • WiFi infrastructure configuration in process
  • July 1, 2021
    • Received hardware for central infrastructure and Residence Hall wireless access points