The answer to better campus wi-fi: Artificial intelligence

Once a futuristic concept, artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to make its mark in the world, whether it’s helping diagnose diseases, automate manufacturing, personalize retail interactions, or assist a smartphone user in navigating city traffic.

At Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, we’re harnessing AI for what has become a very important priority for us and all universities: providing better campus wi-fi.

The ubiquitousness of campus wi-fi

It’s a fact of life for higher-ed institutions today that outstanding digital service has become a crucial vector for the overall quality of life on campus, intertwined with the learning experience and student satisfaction.…Read More

Guess what? Higher-ed innovation & student success starts with wi-fi

Before mobility became essential for student wellbeing, recruiting, and retention, we deployed a wi-fi network at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock that was adequate for meeting institutional requirements and academic demands. Fast-forward several years and our hodge-podge of antiquated equipment from multiple vendors couldn’t handle modern needs. Today, as we’re finishing up a major refresh, we’d like to share nine steps that were critical to gaining the right outcome for us.

Step 1: Articulate the primary goal–it’s more effective than it may seem
Despite sounding like a no-brainer, honing our business drivers into a concise primary goal proved effective because the exercise informed many of the ensuing steps. For us, the primary goal was modernizing our wi-fi to be a differentiator for attracting and retaining today’s mobility-empowered students by offering a home-like user-centric wireless experience to permit students to connect any device quickly, easily, and securely.

Step 2: Seek formal student involvement–what you learn can save the day
Like many institutions, we have a student IT advisory board that typically attracts those with a technology affinity. However, our wi-fi refresh would touch every student, regardless of their interest in the mechanics of making it work.…Read More

Here’s how we future-proofed our campus stadium

Like so much of life for today’s students, attending a collegiate sporting event at Liberty University is as much about sharing the experience with others as the game itself. That’s why fan experiences were top of mind as we moved toward becoming an NCAA D1-A school and embarked on expanding our football and events venue, Williams Stadium, from 19,000 seats to 25,000. Slated for completion prior to the 2018 Flames football opener, the project included blanketing the outdoor facility with high-performance Wi-Fi.

Given our institution’s larger plans for updating all 11 of our competitive athletic facilities, we decided to use the football stadium’s Wi-Fi deployment as a proving ground for mobilizing our entire large public venue portfolio. With Williams finished and our first D1 football season in the record books, here are the most important takeaways we’ll apply going forward.

Lesson 1: Get the facts on fan expectations—it matters for achieving attendance goals
Increasingly, the expectations of students, alumni, press, and other fans are not only driven by the preference for sharing, but also by experiences at professional sports stadiums and arenas. As every institution must meet the NCAA’s attendance requirements, surveying users about what they want is critical to adopting a suitable infrastructure.…Read More

Connecticut heads up 30-state Google Wi-Fi probe

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal plans to head up a 30-state investigation into Google’s Wi-Fi data gathering scandal, CNET reports. Blumenthal’s investigation adds to the legal headaches for Google caused by the revelation that its Street View camera cars were collecting wireless “payload” data in addition to geolocation data from unsecured wireless hot spots. Ever since Google revealed the extent of its data gathering a month ago in response to inquiries from German regulators, lawyers and politicians have been lining up to express their outrage. “Consumers have a right and a need to know what personal information—which could include eMails, web browsing, and passwords—Google may have collected, how, and why,” Blumenthal said in an online statement. “Google must come clean, explaining how and why it intercepted and saved private information broadcast over personal and business wireless networks.” Google has argued that the data it collected were “fragmented,” because Street View cars were moving and the equipment used to record data was changing wireless channels several times a second. The company also has said that it collected the data inadvertently, and the company’s intent will be a key part of the legal battle between Google and its critics…

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