University readies for multimedia services

James Cook University in north Queensland is deploying a $2 million, high-speed network to deliver converged multimedia services to students and staff across multiple campuses.

The upgrade to the university's network will provide an infrastructure for delivering multimedia services like multicast video and IP (Internet Protocol) telephony.

The first phase of the network deployment will be completed in September 2005, with the full network expected to go live in time for the 2006 academic year.

James Cook University pro-vice chancellor of information services and technologies, Professor Andrew Vann, said Nortel was selected for the project after a round of technical presentations identified the 10-Gigabit solution as the best fit, with the university using switch clustering architecture.

According to James Cook University communications infrastructure manager Carl van Wyk, the university is considering a wholesale migration to IP telephony next year, with the new network presenting an open migration path to the technology.

"Our existing PABX is nearing the end of its life, so a move to IP telephony is the logical next step in our network evolution," Van Wyk said.

"One of the many benefits of Nortel's IP telephony-enabled solution is that it gives us the platform we need for a straight migration to IP telephony without having to reinvest in the network infrastructure."

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