Skybar™ NEMA-4 Plastic Wi-Fi Access Point Enclosure with Opaque Screw-on Cover in gym Skybar™ NEMA-4 Plastic Wi-Fi Access Point Enclosure with Opaque Screw-on Cover

Studying Up on Network Infrastructure in Educational Facilities and Campuses

November 02, 2022

As educational facilities continue to evolve, they must adapt to a variety of new technology platforms both indoors and out. These can include different digital platforms for interactive and collaborative learning, electronic systems for real-time grading and record-keeping, as well as the many devices, tools and other resources that all depend on a school’s Wi-Fi network to operate reliably and provide the connectivity needed to support them—not to mention the soaring demands of students and faculty using bandwidth-saturating applications on other personal and school-issued devices.

Bridging it all together are the wireless access points (APs), whose proper installation is key to ensuring that these school Wi-Fi networks can deliver stability, reliability, and performance. But when it comes to ensuring proper performance, following industry best practices and guidelines for implementing these wireless APs is imperative. First start with a plan that will enable full operation of each AP, support, protect and secure them using enclosures and mounts that help optimize the performance and flexibility of a school’s network now and in the future.

Here are a few wireless AP trends to consider, which also factor into the types of enclosures and mounts you’ll want to deploy:

  • APs upgrades are inevitable as technology evolves and new Wi-Fi enabled devices are introduced into the market
  • AP throughput continues to increase by a factor of 10x every five years
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) requirements of APs continue to increase
  • Form factors of APs continue to evolve, which also requires flexibility in planning
  • Wireless LANs continue to provide additional services requiring more bandwidth
  • The need for high density AP deployments is on the rise, particularly in educational facilities

 

With that in mind, focus can then turn to actual AP installation methods that offer aesthetics, ensuring reliable physical infrastructure security and choosing enclosures and mounts that allow for quick and easy serviceability, especially when planning for future AP upgrades.

All of these are critical to ensuring smooth deployment and can help ensure better coverage and protection in classrooms, lecture halls and dormitories, where network traffic can spike on any given day of the week. In these spaces, enclosures and mounts with interchangeable trims and doors that can easily be swapped out are ideal—such as Oberon’s Wi-Tile™ 1047 Series locking suspended ceiling tile Wi-Fi AP enclosure with interchangeable doors, or Oberon’s H-Plane™ 1007 Series right-angle AP wall mount, which mimics a lighting wall sconce and includes an interchangeable trim to allow installers to recess APs from all the leading vendors into the wall sconce itself.

But what about ensuring network infrastructure in other kinds of indoor spaces (like laboratories or gymnasiums) and outdoors? Beyond the classroom, especially in higher education and college campuses, it’s become just as important to provide reliable network infrastructure in places like parking garages, outdoor courtyards and common areas and of course, sports venues and stadiums where thousands will likely congregate throughout the year.

In these spaces, APs and associated cabling components still need to provide optimal wireless coverage, but must be physically secured, protected from the elements, often times impact resistant, receptive to wash down, and perhaps above all, aesthetically blended into the environment. For these needs, Oberon offers a wide range of NEMA-rated, UV-resistant enclosures designed with aesthetics in mind, including the Skybar™ 1020 Series, 1021 Series and 1022 Series, which can mount under seats, on walls and overhangs for maximum space savings and durability, and the Hi-Bar™ 1015 Series, ideal for spaces like gyms where impact resistant plastic coverings keep equipment well protected.

Meanwhile, Oberon’s NetPoint™ 3032 Series Wi-Fi AP bollards provide AP protection in green spaces or any other location of need and come in a wide range of colors and heights to blend seamlessly into any outdoor environment.

To learn even more about solutions like these, and the importance of network infrastructure in educational facilities and campuses, be sure to also view a recent webinar featuring Oberon Applications Engineer and Global Training Expert, Bree Murphy, RCDD, here.