Columbia International College (CIC), located in Hamilton, Ontario, is Canada’s largest private junior and senior boarding school. CIC delivers a student-focused, world-class education experience.
The school is growing as it takes in more students from around the world – it now has students from over 70 countries in attendance. This year, the school expanded to include two new art rooms, a new University Placement Office and Guidance Office, a University Resource Centre, a Campus Safety Office, a new front entrance, and an expanded Medical Clinic and Visitors Centre.
Columbia International College’s Challenge
Due to their recent expansion, CIC needed to expand their WLAN network to add-on two more residences and a newly acquired facility.
As their student population has increased, CIC found the congregation of students in specific areas at certain times of day, with multiple devices, were exceeding the network’s capacity. It is estimated that the average student has 2.5 wireless devices needing access to the network, which can create bandwidth strain.
It also created access issues for faculty (who have an estimated average of 2 wireless devices per person) who needed to access online applications; one of which was a real time attendance app. With the app, teachers record student attendance on their iPads, which is immediately uploaded to a portal so parents could confirm their child as present.
Therefore, in addition to the new facilities, CIC needed to improve the coverage and capacity of the WLAN in their main facility. With a new wireless design, CIC would be able to separate student and faculty/administration wireless traffic.
Activo’s Wireless Site Design Process
As part of best practices for wireless site design, Activo works through the following phases:
- Site Survey
- Post Installation Survey
Throughout the phases, we determine answers to questions including:
- How many users require wireless access?
- What applications will be used?
- Do they require roaming?
- What areas require coverage? Indoor, outdoor, stairwells, common areas, etc.
- Are there any known RF interference sources?
- Do they require voice traffic as well as data traffic?
- What is the estimated quantity and location of access points?
- What is the optimum design to meet the customer requirements?
We also establish Quality of Service (QoS) and security policies.
The Meru Solution from Activo
Through the discovery with CIC, we determined their needs and educated them on the Meru solutions we could provide.
They quickly recognized the benefit of Meru’s signal cell design and the dual frequency/dual band radio capability wireless access points, which support 802.11ac connections.
With these new wireless access points enabled, Activo upgraded CIC’s Meru control to support the new 802.11ac protocol.
CIC is now ready to increase their WLAN network capacity and offer the students and faculty greater capacity and better performance, while ensuring seamless communication with parents.
>> Need to expand the network at your own facility? Contact Activo today for an integrated, customized solution.
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