University of the South Announces Completion of Its New Wireless Network

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (August 20, 2013) - On June 7, the University of the South celebrated receiving the 2013 ACUTA Institutional Excellence Award for its Wireless & Network Infrastructure Project. ACUTA is an international non-profit organization that represents information communications technology professionals in higher education. The organization has over 700 college and university members and over 1,900 individual members. Vice-Chancellor John McCardell accepted the award on behalf of the university, saying, “This is a very prestigious award today, but more important is how this network will enhance the educational experience we provide our students.”
 
The University of the South was the award winner for schools with fewer than 5,000 students. It was recognized for its wireless and network infrastructure project, a strategic initiative to provide improved access to campus servers and information systems, online course materials, and the Internet, including many resources from the library. The project will provide wireless coverage for the academic quad areas and the athletic fields for “beyond the walls” learning and recreational experiences.
 
Jeanne Jansenius, Sewanee's director of telecommunications and technology infrastructure services, stated that the new system “has made a drastic improvement in the internet response and speed throughout the campus. It has been a tremendous success. Everyone on staff has been very enthusiastic and they are excited about the speed when they access the system.” 
 
“When you go through the process of upgrading your network, it takes a considerable amount of planning and coordination,” said Geno Schlichting, the university’s construction manager. “We had to be very careful with the facilities as the network infrastructure was expanded. Our goal is to provide indoor to outdoor to indoor wireless communications seamlessly with adequate bandwidth for all users.” Schlichting has been working this summer with two student interns to complete all of the campus “heat maps,” which document to coverage of the network. “When new technology becomes available in the future, the University of the South will be in an optimal position to take advantage of it,” he said.
 
The project included the installation of over 550 transmitter/receivers in each of the academic, administrative and multiuse buildings, as well as residence halls. Excalibur Integrated Systems of Chattanooga was the wireless installation contractor for the project. Rodger Jenkins, CEO of Excalibur, said, “We are extremely honored and pleased to be involved with the University of the South and to have a part in the planning, installation and support of such an award-winning project with Ms. Jansenius and her staff. Excalibur was an award-winner as well to have been chosen by such a prestigious institution.”