$5 Billion in E-Rate Funding for Wi-Fi in Schools

The FCC is taking steps to modernize E-rate for Wi-Fi in schools. Recognizing that students and teachers are more dependent than ever on personal mobile devices, the FCC is moving to promote and fund ubiquitous Wi-Fi in schools and libraries. They need a robust Wi-Fi network that will deliver all of the multimedia instruction and programming required for the future.

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Installing Wi-Fi in a Campus Environment

It is remarkable how far wireless computing on campus has come in less than 20 years. In the early 1990s, some college campuses were experimenting with wireless computing, with the idea that laptop computers could be carried around campus and remain connected to the network. Those early pioneers struggled with non-standard systems and expensive, proprietary client devices. There were also low baud rate interfaces to the cellular network in select markets. In the mid-1990s, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) created the IEEE 802.11 standard for wireless computing, but even this standard permitted non-interoperable technologies, such as infrared (IR), and different radio frequency (RF) modulation techniques. In the late 1990s, the IEEE 802.11 amendments standardized on an RF (versus IR) carrier, and the Wi-Fi alliance developed interoperability testing. This opened the door for large scale commoditization of the wireless client device, now embedded in virtually every mobile device.

Early campus Wi-Fi deployments focused on wireless signal coverage, extension of the network outdoors, and, in some cases, elimination of cabling in hard-to-cable areas. Today, students and faculty expect robust Wi-Fi throughout their campus for virtually every network application. Wi-Fi deployments are focused on capacity and reliable service, as the wireless network has become mission critical. In some cases, the requirement is to install one wireless access point (WAP) in every residence hall room and multiple WAPs in every classroom, requiring the installation of more wide-bandwidth data cable.

ICT Today July-Aug 2015Please read the full article by Oberon President Scott D. Thompson, published in the July/August issue of ICT Today:

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Why will IEEE 802.11ac Change the Wireless Experience?


Cabling and Wireless Installation Articles 3-23-2015

Last year I wrote an article (May 2014 on IEEE 802.11ac compliant products –suggesting that products built to this standard would feature “wired like” speeds, data rates beyond 1 Gig, unprecedented user density, scalability in large venues, and better client battery life. All this new capability is provided by larger swaths of bandwidth available in the 5 GHz band and sophisticated modulation and coding schemes enabled by advanced signal processing techniques. I described in that article that 802.11ac is being rolled out in two waves, actually referred to as Wave 1 and Wave 2. I also described that Wave 2 products will engage, for the first time, Multi-User Multiple Input-Multiple Output, or MU-MIMO, technology. MU-MIMO has the ability to significantly advance data throughput. In this article I will discuss Wave 2 data rates in more detail, compared to Wave 1 and prior technologies, and implications on the wireline network. I will also attempt to make a forecast of requirements for planning cabled infrastructure into the next decade.

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Positioning a Wireless Router and Other Networking Components with Oberon’s 1016 Wireless Network Cabinet


In a corporate environment, Internet access and network connectivity are a vital part of day to day business. Even minutes of down time leads to lost productivity. As such, networking components are always locked and secured in a telecommunications room. The Wi-Fi and wireless components of the network present a dilemma, however, in that the wireless end points (access points) need to be out in the open workspace (rather than in a telecom room), yet still secured. In a corporate or campus environment, the access points are often locked and secured in Oberon wireless access point enclosures, providing the dual functionality.

Read more: Positioning a Wireless Router and Other Networking Components with Oberon’s 1016 Wireless Network...