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Case Study: Ubiquitous Learning In Edith Cowan University

2095 words - 8 pages

Case Study: Ubiquitous Learning in Edith Cowan UniversityAs part of a cohesive IT strategy, wireless mesh networking offers cost-effective coverage well-suited to any widely distributed campus environment. Enabling staff and students to communicate in real time can speed up administrative processes and facilitate collaborative activities.Wireless mesh networking: The BasicsWireless mesh networking is mesh networking implemented over a Wireless LAN.Whereas the Internet is mostly a wired based, co-operative electronic communication infrastructure similar to the international postal agreement, in that messages are mutually delivered and relayed within their separate domains free of charge (i.e. if you relay my messages within your domain I'll relay yours within mine), Mesh is a wireless co-operative communication infrastructure between a massive amount of individual wireless transceivers (i.e. a wireless mesh). This cooperative wireless array concept was first proposed in 1995 under a Canadian patent called Massive Array Cellular System (MACS). The inventor, Victor Pierobon, designed it solely as a disruptive technology to replace all chargeable communication services, such as landline telephones, cellular phones, and cable TV with an entirely free service, a user based, user solely owned communication infrastructure. To enable this, MACS route messages using GPS or longitude/latitude location, navigation between other MACS to the destined geo-location. Each MACS device is a multi-channel repeater/transceiver.The ECU mesh network access radios use standard 802.11 b/g protocols, while the transit radios connecting the access points use IPsec line-of-sight 802.11a, effective up to 200 to 300 meters depending on local conditions. Meshing protocols have not yet been standardized. The Nortel product uses open shortest path first (OSPF)-based protocols for discovery of adjacent access points. An IEEE working group is expecting submissions for standardized meshing protocols in the first quarter of 2006. ProblemEdith Cowan University (ECU) is spread across four sprawling leafy campuses around the city of Perth in Western Australia. An ECU initiative to deploy laptop PCs throughout the university presented the IT services department with the challenge of how to provide ubiquitous computing network access to academics and a student population of nearly 23,000 located in more than 130 buildings on four campuses located up to 200 hundred kilometers apart. Any network access solution had to be flexible enough to support existing requirements for real-time collaboration tools (for example, Microsoft Live Communications Server), future applications such as voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), low-cost deployment to a campus site facing closure, as well as future high bandwidth demands of students and staff. Examples of the latter include live video streaming of lectures across campuses using the iLecture automated lecture capture and delivery systemsee...

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