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University of Wyoming Division of Information Technology

UW IT Wireless Installation Policy

With the continued growth of the University of Wyoming wireless data network it is essential that all new installations have a site survey performed. Typically a site survey entails thorough testing with actual wireless hardware placed in the location where wireless coverage is being requested. Because of a variety of factors that can interfere with wireless signals (for example, improperly shielded microwave ovens, cordless phones, rogue access points using adjacent channels, and a number of other sources), it is necessary to be highly selective about placement of wireless access points. With this in mind it is also important to take into consideration that it is possible that these sources of interference may impede the day to day use of the wireless system. It is impossible to account for all sources of interference and plan for all possible problems, but with the help of network users it is possible to eliminate or avoid most problems.

It is important that network users inform Information Technology of all areas that they wish to be covered by wireless access. Without this vital information it will be impossible to provide the best coverage. The University of Wyoming does not recommend wireless, nor will wireless be used, to replace wired desktop systems unless access for wiring is impractical or too costly to install. Wireless Internet access is intended to be used for occasional or incidental Internet access. Also, wireless access is intended to compliment existing wired networks, not replace them. With that in mind, Information Technology will not typically offer wireless services when the expressed purpose is to eliminate wired connections because a wired data connection is still far superior to a wireless connection. Current wireless technology does not adequately support the typical user’s daily network traffic. Wireless is a shared bandwidth technology, which means that there is only a finite amount of bandwidth available and it will be split up among active users. The current recommended number of users per access point is no more than twenty. At this level of saturation it is quite likely that each user will get very limited network speed. The theoretical maximum number of users that can associate to an access point at any one time far exceeds this recommended value, but due to the very limited bandwidth inherent to the technology, it is best to not exceed the twenty user limit. Please be aware that wireless may not support all services that a wired connection does, i.e. automatic antivirus synchronization, domain access at boot time or any other unforeseen use.

Initial wireless installation costs include the cost of the access points and any premise wiring that must be installed to support the access points. This includes, but is not limited to, data cabling and/or power. Please be aware that IT cannot install a wireless access point on wiring that is rated anything less than category 5. To determine if your wiring is category 5 or above please contact the Telecom Help Desk (766-HELP, option 2) for further information. If it becomes necessary for an access point to be moved due to a request by the user it will be a billable service. All wireless access points will be managed centrally by Information Technology to ensure consistency and compatibility with other network resources as well as providing for greater network security. It is vital that access points be installed in a proper environment. Wall thickness and architectural factors play a major role in wireless coverage. Rogue (unapproved by IT) access points will be disconnected from the network.

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