Tassie education to upgrade wireless

Centrally managed wireless a key objective

Tasmania's Department of Education will implement new wireless networks to replace some 800 existing access points across a number of state schools and its internal ITS department in Hobart.

The department's existing wireless infrastructure consists of various "thick" access points covering some of the networking needs of some sites. The access points are a mixture of Linksys WAP54G, Dlink DWL-2100AP and 3Com OfficeConnect devices and while some sites have one type all through, others have a mixture.

The IT department is looking for a more centrally managed solution with the goal of replacing all of the access points, but the exact number of schools that will be immediately upgraded is unclear at this stage.

"There is a need to consider both the LAN needs and issues such as power over Ethernet, security, VLANs, VoIP and future technologies such as 802.11n," according to the department.

The objectives of the project are to provide wireless networking to several schools of different sizes with differing needs, site coverage providing high throughput, load sharing across access points in areas of high density, and a secure WLAN environment with WPA2 using RADIUS as the authentication method.

The Hobart ITS office has a Cisco 6513 core switch but there are no power over Ethernet modules in the switch.

The new wireless infrastructure is required to three different classes of school campuses in rural and city areas of the state.

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