News Release

University of Queensland Creates a Collaborative Academic Experience With World's Largest 802.11n Wireless Network

Australia's Most Connected University to Deploy Cisco TelePresence Systems in Classrooms
May 28, 2009

BRISBANE, Australia – May 28, 2009 - The University of Queensland is working with Cisco to become Australia's most connected tertiary institution, deploying the largest 802.11n wireless network in the world to create a unique collaborative environment. The university is also deploying the largest tertiary Cisco TelePresenceTM network in Asia Pacific to facilitate international and cross-campus collaboration. This network also includes the 7 millionth Cisco wireless access point deployed worldwide.

The University of Queensland is one of Australia's premier learning and research institutions. The university serves close to 38,000 students from more than 110 countries and has around 15,000 staff, 774 buildings and four major campuses, with another 45 sites throughout Queensland, including two islands in the Great Barrier Reef region of Queensland. By providing a seamless connected campus experience previously unseen in a university environment, this multimillion-dollar investment will transform the academic experience for students and staff.

Nick Tate, director of information technology services and AusCERT at the University of Queensland, said, "This significant network upgrade will help the University of Queensland enable our vision of a connected campus environment, filled with mobile students and teachers communicating and collaborating at anytime from wherever they happen to be. The flexibility this provides means busy students will be able to more easily keep up with university demands whilst staff will have a world-class network to support their teaching, research and administrative endeavours. The University of Queensland is extremely proud to be leading the way, internationally, with this substantial technology investment."

The network, coupled with advanced mobility and video technologies will eliminate physical barriers and encourage flexibility by providing students, teachers and staff with access to university resources anytime, anywhere from any device. With 4,000 Cisco Aironet® 1520 and 1140 Series 802.11n wireless access points across campuses, including those on the 'City Cat' ferry in Brisbane, students will be truly mobile with next-generation ubiquitous access to resources whether they are at home, on campus or traveling to and from the university.

Using the network as the platform for communication and collaboration, students will no longer be tied to lecture rooms or libraries, allowing them to access and download classes, recorded lecture materials and other resources from laptops, iPhones or other smartphones, wherever and whenever is convenient for them.

This unprecedented network access and connectivity will also bridge the geographical divide between the main campus and the university's remote locations. The network will extend to the university's working mine site at Indooroopilly, the marine research centre on Herron Island, 80 kilometers off the coast of Queensland, and the agricultural and veterinary science campus located in Gatton, also situated 80 kilometers away from the main campus at St Lucia.

The implementation of the largest Cisco TelePresence network for education in the Asia Pacific region will facilitate improved learning outcomes and teaching experiences by fostering collaboration between local university campuses and overseas institutions. The ultra-high-definition video Cisco TelePresence technology, which allows for live face-to-face interaction over the network, will be used across the multiple university campuses to deliver remote lectures and enhance personal contact for students and teachers in the more remote locations. Cisco TelePresence will also provide researchers with better mechanisms for collaboration and innovation by disseminating research to extended teams on university campuses and other education and research institutions.

Les Williamson, vice president of Cisco Australia and New Zealand, said; "We are continuing to evolve the relevance of ICT to deliver 21st-century teaching and learning outcomes. This Cisco network will help the University of Queensland further enhance its reputation as a leader in changing the way education is delivered. It is a great example of the kind of real world benefits which can be achieved when an overall architectural approach is taken to provide an environment where students and teachers connect, share and collaborate."

To meet the demands of such a large and diverse deployment, the University of Queensland selected the Cisco 802.11n wireless solution for its reliability and performance. Its notable features include Cisco's innovative M-Drive technology, which enhances 802.11n performance while simplifying the ongoing operations of the wireless network.

Built on an intelligent network optimized for rich media by Cisco services, the ultra-high definition video implementation includes four Cisco TelePresence System 500 units and two Cisco TelePresence System 3200 units - the first deployment of its kind for education and learning in Australia and New Zealand.  The Cisco TelePresence System 500 seats two participants for virtual face-to-face meetings, and the Cisco TelePresence System 3200 seats up to 18 participants in the room.

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