Faster Wi-Fi network on the way for UNSW students

The university's Wi-Fi could reach speeds of up to 1.3 Gigabits per second

An upgrade of the University of New South Wales’ Wi-Fi network is underway which could offer students speeds of up to 1.3 Gigabits per second.

UNSW communication services manager Greg Sawyer said the increased bandwidth is essential to cope with the estimated 20,000 devices on the network.

“The students have, on average, three devices because they’re using a phone, laptop and tablet,” he said.

There are approximately 2000 Wi-Fi access points installed across the main campus in Sydney. Students can access their course content, educational videos and sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The faster speeds will be made possible with the introduction of a Cisco 802.11 ac enterprise-grade cloud-managed access point. This upgrade will take place by June 2013.

Working in partnership with Cisco, the university first rolled out wireless access points in 2003.

According to Sawyer, the vendor has helped the university meet the challenge of anywhere, any time Internet that students expect.

“We think we’ll get a 300 per cent increase in speed but we will wait for the new cloud access point modules to come out to prove that,” he said.

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He added that students are currently getting speeds of between two and 10 Megabits per second at peak hours in locations such as the university's library.

UNSW is also upgrading the network to manage the planned growth in high definition (HD) online learning.

“This year we are forecasting 1200 hours of classroom lectures per week will be recorded in HD which is about 2.5 terabytes of data,” he said.

Turning to security, Sawyer said that firewalls are installed so students can access the services they need online while being protected.

“We tend to stop the viruses and malware rather than blocking lots of websites. When Viagra was doing the rounds of spam email, researchers needed access to websites about Viagra,” he said.

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This story can't be right. Isn't a fixed fibre optic connection what will bring education in this country into the 21st century? Isn't fibre optics the only way to get high speed? Isn't fibre optics the network of the future? And wireless just some slow obsolete technology that only the stupid and ignorant advocate? Surely Alan Jones can't be right after all that its wireless that's the future.



They are talking about local connectivity, not the internet. A lot of that content would be hosted locally hence the need for higher bandwidth due to the number of devices. They would also have fibre feeds for their internet/cloud services.

Wireless Guy


This is about wireless access on campus. The campus is all fibre connected with massive bandwidth 20GB Internet, but the number of students accessing wireless is a real challenge to manage, hence the 3 device comment. NBN is external access to things like HD recorded lectures for students off campus.

Paul Krueger


How is 300% of "two and 10 Megabits" 1.3 gig?



'Between two and 10' is peak usage speed resulting from congestion.

While the 1.3Gbps reference also includes the magic words 'up to' (which some service providers seem to think can mean anything at all) :)

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