Thursday, 27 August 2015 13:19

Ruckus Wi-Fi connects students at Perth college


Perth coeducational school, All Saints’ College, has deployed a high capacity, high speed Ruckus smart Wi-Fi network to support the learning curriculum for its 1,335 students.

All students at the school from pre-kindergarten through to Year 12 have access to their own laptop or tablet, loaded with software provided by All Saints’ College.

Ian Mackay-Scollay, ICT Manager at All Saints’ College, said the school wanted to upgrade its legacy network and compared improved technologies available from a number of industry players including HP, Xirrus, Aerohive Networks, Cisco Meraki and Ruckus Wireless.

“Due to increased demand and congestion, which we saw particularly amplified in 2014, we decided it was time to re-evaluate our wired and wireless network,” Mackay-Scollay said.

{loadpositon peter}“Many students and teachers were facing slow speeds and issues accessing online services as the high density of users was causing bottlenecks.”

Following the initial evaluation, the school decided to trial both Xirrus and Ruckus Wireless in a building with the school’s worst congestion and most complex RF environment. Loan equipment from Xirrus was trialled first, which demonstrated improvements to access over the legacy network, but Mackay-Scollay says it was the Ruckus trial that provided the best performing network for the school.

“While conducting the Ruckus trial we received an overwhelmingly positive response from students and teachers. The network really performed, even despite the challenging RF environment we tested it in. Throughput of connections was immediately improved, and the speed of access much quicker.”

The college approved a full rip and replace of the legacy network and deployed Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure. Installation of a ZoneDirector 3000 controller and 70 ZoneFlex R700 indoor dual-band 3x3 802.11ac access points (APs) across the campus was completed in approximately 8 days over a school holiday period.

Ruckus says the key to the success of the installation is its BeamFlex, patented Smart Wi-Fi antenna array technology, which monitors the environment and dynamically adjusts the signal to the best performing path, automatically steering around interference and obstacles – ensuring the strongest signal, highest throughput and least interference so that students can focus on learning instead of waiting for an internet connection.

“It is important for us to forward plan and keep on top of technological developments to networks and internet access. So while we’re still using 802.11n protocol, one particular aspect of the R700 model we found attractive was its 802.11ac capability which allows us to future proof for a transition down the track,” Mackay-Scollay said.

“Ultimately access to strong, fast and secure internet is key to the education we deliver at All Saints’ College. Each and every one of our students


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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