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LCC Upgrades Wireless Infrastructure

After many years of dutiful operation, LCC’s Guest wireless network was retired over the 2014-2015 winter break.  While LCCGuest effectively served the needs of our students and faculty for quite some time, recent increases in demand for wireless data proved too stressful for key pieces of the existing equipment. External factors, such as mobile device proliferation (lower cost tablets and smartphones and the apps that accompany them), along with additional factors (like increasingly costly data plans from wireless carriers) unexpectedly resulted in nearly twice the number of users we predicted and pushed critical components of our existing system past their limitations.  After exploring different options during an expedited evaluation period, LCC’s ITS division decided the best course of action was to do a “forklift” upgrade of our existing wireless network. The technology behind this upgrade enabled our technicians to replace over 270 access points during winter break and will allow ITS to rapidly respond to the changing landscape of today’s users.

This “forklift” upgrade was a complete overhaul of our existing wireless infrastructure. The new wireless system has been built from the ground up with the student’s needs in mind and as a result, LCCguest was replaced with two new wireless networks:

LCCStudent: Students will now be connecting to this wireless network in the same manner as they did previously with LCCGuest. Similarly, LCCStudent can also be used by LCC employees who bring their own devices or do not have a computer provided by the college or anyone else (contractors, auditors, etc.) who has been assigned an active LCC account. LCCVisitor: This network is designed for those individuals who are just visiting one of LCC’s campuses, those who only need internet access for a limited time period and anyone who wants to become an LCC student.

LCC’s new wireless system also includes 802.11ac wireless access-points that allow us to deliver Wi-Fi to a greater number of concurrent users at significantly greater speeds. As spring approaches, LCC’s ITS Division will continue to improve the Wi-Fi coverage of our main campus’ green spaces - both current and planned

Note: For employees that are accustomed to using LCCA as their wireless network for LCC-provided equipment, this network has also been upgraded but no additional action on your part is required

Tom Field
Lansing Community College
Director – Infrastructure Support Services