This Week in LIS - 2 May 2014

Weekly news and updates from Luther College Information Technology Services. To receive email updates, please sign up here.

Headline of the Week: Innovative Breakthroughs in Campus Networking

Most of what we do at Luther College is anchored in face to face interactions between students and faculty and staff. We will leverage our campus facilities including classrooms, meeting rooms, auditoriums, performance halls, residence halls, dining areas, open green spaces, athletic fields, trails, etc. to be together, work, communicate, problem solve, discover, learn, negotiate, and otherwise interact and connect with one another.

The big pipes that connect Luther College to the Internet and connect us to one another on campus electronically are also important to us. Information and supporting information systems play an important role in supporting our work together and these systems depend on our electronic networks both on campus and beyond. Information systems play a mediating role in much of our work. They help us schedule, share information, collaborate, reduce impacts of time and space, support analysis, organize, and extend our reach beyond our campus to connect with people and resources. As information technology has been stitched into the fabric of our operations providing support and enabling connections we might not otherwise have, it also has become a utility that we depend on not unlike water and electricity in some ways. It is important to match our capability to growing demands.

I want to call your attention to two recent blog posts. These two capture some breakthroughs in networking support. The first captures a breakthrough in our access to the Internet and signals more to come. Though a collaboration of 6 non-profit partners in Decorah we have leveraged economic stimulus grant funding and our pooled resources to build a Decorah Metronet. Together we have leveraged our collaboration to acquire access to bandwidth what would otherwise have been unaffordable. Luther College successfully connected to this shared network this week and is leveraging the increased bandwidth. Plans include bringing up a second high speed connection that will provide much improved redundancy and additional bandwidth beyond what we have had in the past.

The second post captures progress on our wireless network. Specifically it documents progress on the wireless network in Miller and Dieseth. These halls are unique in that there has not been in-room wiring for Internet access. They depend on wireless connections. The growth in wireless devices, the changes in the nature of the radios of those devices, especially in smartphones, and the collective bandwidth they want to consume has outstripped the capability of the installed systems. That is changing. Wires are being installed in every other room. 187 new wireless access points will be connected to those wires. Second floor Dieseth has been our pilot operating since Spring Break time. The outside of room wiring is complete and two more floors in-room wiring have been completed and the march through both towers is underway. The density and locality of wireless access points will provide a much improved level of service. This had been planned as a summer project. Innovative approaches and ideas from the Network and Systems team (Adam and Dennis) and financial support from the President's Cabinet have accelerated this important work. Many students are experiencing improved service in towers and many more will before the semester completes.

Suggested Reading/Viewing/Listening:

Improved Internet Service

Upgrade for Wireless Network in Towers


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LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:

Notes from LIS Council

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Upcoming LIS Events   

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June 2014

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This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Paul Mattson, Executive Director of LIS at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

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