Matt Brunk
Matt Brunk has worked in past roles as director of IT for a multisite health care firm; president of Telecomworx,...
Read Full Bio >>

Matt Brunk | November 02, 2012 |


Campus 802.11n: Kickballs and Basketballs

Campus 802.11n: Kickballs and Basketballs While I learned that kids now use straws and pieces of Gummy Bears as spitballs targeting ceiling tiles, we do anticipate new challenges with WiFi.

While I learned that kids now use straws and pieces of Gummy Bears as spitballs targeting ceiling tiles, we do anticipate new challenges with WiFi.

We've implemented three more campus 802.11n networks and have another one slated. Our campus environments are K-8 parochial schools and on the surface it's easy to dismiss, but don't let size or age fool you. These users are just as demanding.

The media center specialist and computer instructor said they want enough WiFi coverage so the iPads don't need to be logged back into the server again when the portable Apple iPad Learning Lab rolls down the hallways--and yes, there's an elevator between floors. This means when the Learning Lab rolls out of the Media Center, if it loses WiFi connectivity, then the iPad user must be logged back onto the server, and this wastes valuable instruction time.

Our distribution rep had questions about our approaches in implementing WiFi--and again, it's environment, building materials, type and quality of construction and as they say in real estate: "Location, location, location!" This building has a ceiling height of 12 feet, with 4 feet of mostly clear ceiling overhead above the drop tile ceiling grid at 8 feet.

We started work in the server room across from the 8th Grade classroom and worked our way towards the school entrance. We used two iPhones and a laptop to gauge signal strength. Once the iPhones dropped to 2-bars out of 3, or the laptops dropped to 3-bars out of 5, we added an Access Point (AP).

What you won't see on floor plans are the ceiling spaces above the grid, doors and types of material and whether or not glass and other materials are used. Then the ceiling may or may not be obstructed, insulated or sprayed with insulating materials. These are all clues to note on your initial site survey.

The floor plans provided to us indicate an available cable drop (Category 5E) in every classroom. What would happen with this type of thinking is either you over-buy the number of access points and you over-saturate and end up throttling the power of the APs down or you remove APs from service. (See first floor below: SPR 2-8 are installed APs). What we will return and do is move the AP (SPR3) about 25 feet to the right.

The lower level houses the Media center and K-2 classrooms, the cafeteria (also serves as a multi-purpose room: Indoor Kickball, Basketball) and maintenance spaces. (See lower level floor below: SPR1 and 9-11 are installed APs).

The customer cited that the cafeteria (Multi-purpose room) often has kickballs and basketballs flying around and to tuck the AP (SPR11) next to a column away from the activity. We used the Adtran NV160s without external antennas and used the ceiling grid clip to secure the AP to the grid rail, and just above the grid we tie-wrapped the patch cable to either a ceiling stringer or an all-thread to secure it; so if the tile drops or the AP is knocked off the grid, it is prevented from hitting someone. We do this for all ceiling mounted APs in all environments.

The only change we made was to relocate the Building Maintenance AP (pink circle) out into the hall corridor for better coverage and overlapping signals.

The cable drops are all home run to the Computer Server room on the first floor and connected to an Adtran Netvanta 1534P that provides PoE and 1-Gbps ports. The expansion ports on the switch will be used to connect to 10-Gbps multi-mode fiber connecting to other buildings using 2.5 Gbps transceivers.

Paging, telephones, network cameras and access control will be migrated over to the fiber backbone network. I've mentioned in other posts we are using 10-Gbps fiber to allow for future growth and we tap into the fiber using either 1-Gbps or 2.5 Gbps transceivers, and we can still aggregate additional fiber pairs for more bandwidth on the internal backbone network. Most of our schools have both Verizon FIOS and Comcast to provide overflow and backup. Moving POTS services over to VoIP or SIP trunks is in the plan.

Kids today are very well connected and have a greater understanding of technology. Age and size doesn't matter, they are using the technology and have all kinds of tools to complete their schoolwork or engage in learning and social activities. While I learned that kids now use straws and pieces of Gummy Bears as spitballs targeting ceiling tiles, we do anticipate new challenges with WiFi. I'm wondering what we will find when we return.

Next time, I'll tell you what else we did during late night after-school hours and why--and had fun doing it.


April 25, 2018

Yesterdays simple phone call to a contact center or business location is rapidly becoming todays interactive session, spanning multiple channels and devices. If you need to know how Omnichannel can

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.