Purchase of equipment for wireless network access.
The School of Business Administration is requesting $27,173.04 for the purchase of twenty workstations equipped with wireless network cards. This will enable us to provide students with computers which have wireless network access. The workstations will be placed at strategic locations in and around the vicinity of the Business School in order to give students easy access to their email accounts and the Internet.
This upgrade will lessen the burden on the heavily utilized computer labs and free them for more computationally intensive and academically related tasks.
This is a resubmission, after revision, of our earlier proposal. We are no longer requesting funds for the wireless access points since the School will pay for the installation of the wireless network infrastructure.
This proposal has strong student endorsement and has been written with active student participation.
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The School of Business Administration is one of the largest academic units on campus and has a strong technology emphasis. We serve 1,676 undergraduate majors and 399 graduate students. The School offers an Information Systems concentration for undergraduate students as well as a new Electronic Business program (launched Autumn 2000) at the graduate level.
There are currently three open-access labs in Balmer. (Please refer to the Resources section for details.) The labs are networked to Windows 2000 Servers, offer internet access and have print capabilities using laser printers.
Students often find the need for a computer to check their email or to browse the Internet. They use the Balmer Lab computers for this purpose since these are the only computers to which they have access around the School. This places a significant amount of pressure on the already over-burdened labs. Given the importance of email as a communication means and the Internet as an information source, there is no way to avoid or reduce such usage unless alternative means are provided.
Wireless network access is the option of choice for the following reasons:
1. The infrastructure in the Balmer Labs does not include the wiring required to adequately serve the student body through more traditional wired ports.
2. Due to the age and design of the Balmer building, the installation of additional wired ports is a much more expensive alternative that does not offer the flexibility that wireless networks would.
3. In addition to using the wireless desktop computers that we plan to install, students with laptop computers, personal digital assistants or other wireless devices of their own that are equipped with compatible networking cards can send and receive e-mail and surf the Web at speeds comparable to the campus's wired network.
Our proposal is to purchase two wireless network access points and 20 workstations with wireless network cards. These workstations will be located in the MBA lounge and the Undergraduate Commons. They will be secured with security cables and all rooms where they are located will be locked at night.
Benefits to Students and the University
Students will have easy access to email and the web without having to go the labs. This will greatly reduce the load on the computer labs while offering increased service to the student body. Students with laptops equipped with wireless cards or other devices of their own can connect to the School¹s Local Area Network and work on class projects, assignments, and research papers without being dependant on the labs. Finally, we believe that the boost to student morale will have a tremendous impact and help to alleviate some of the misgivings that students have had in the past regarding the School¹s computing equipment.
The Dean is very committed to providing students with wireless network access. This proposal was initiated by him and has strong departmental endorsement. The School is also planning to independently accquire additional access points to wirelessly network some of the classrooms.
The equipment will be installed and ready for use by the end of the Spring quarter at the latest. Our intent is to have the equipment in place by the beginning of the Spring quarter, if funds are made available.
Resources Provided by Department
Currently available resources include the following:
34 Pentium III 733 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 10 GB Hard Drive
24 Pentium III 733 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 10 GB Hard Drive (temporarily available)
20 Pentium III 233MHz, 96 MB RAM, 2 GB Hard Drive
30 Pentium III 667MHz, 128 MB RAM, 10 GB Hard Drive
3 Hewlett Packard 4si
1 Hewlett Packard Color Laserjet 5M
If this proposal is approved, the School of Business Administration will provide the appropriate space and necessary furniture for hosting the workstations and the access points. The School will also provide Personnel resources to set up and maintain all related equipment and undertake responsibility for securing the rooms where the workstations are located. Finally, the School will also install all required software on these workstations.
Access Restrictions (if any)
The computers will be accessible to all students between 7 am and 7 pm each day. Access is restricted to these hours for security reasons. The rooms hosting these workstations will be locked at other times. The wireless hubs will be accessible to all students with devices that are equipped with wireless cards.
A web-based survey was used to gather data for student input. 117 students responded to the question "How frequently would you use computer email stations if they were placed in the Undergraduate/Graduate Commons rooms on the 1st floor of Balmer?". 100 respondents said they would use this facility "often" or "somewhat frequently". Only 17 responded with "seldom".
In response to the question "How useful would wireless Internet/Network access be?", 59 responded with "extremely useful" and 40 with "somewhat useful". Only 12 responded with "not useful".
These responses indicate that wireless network access and availability of email stations would be greatly appreciated by the students.
Cisco AIR-AP342E2C Wireless Acess PointJustification
By strategically locating two wireless access points (hubs) in the first floor of Balmer Hall, we can give students the option of connecting to the network with 11 Mbps performance while enjoying Wireless freedom and flexibility. The technology we propose to use will provide security equivalent to wired networks and interoperability with products from different vendors.
Cisco 340 Series Aeronet Wireless Client AdapterJustification
These are the wireless network cards that will be used with the Dell workstations to connect to the network and the Internet via the wireless access points.
Dell GX150 small desktopJustification
Five of these workstations will be located in the MBA lounge. The other 15 will be located in the Undergraduate Commons. This will give students easy access to their emails and the Internet.
Total requested: $0.00
Total funded: $0.00
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