Broadband Communities

MAR-APR 2016

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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50 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | MARCH/APRIL 2016 TECHNOLOGY Reduce Access Friction In Student Housing Student residents want to access whatever they want, whenever they want, on whichever device they choose with no additional steps between the thought and the result. By Andrew Marshall / Campus Technologies Inc. T he design of a student housing Internet access system, either wired or wireless, often includes the requirement for students to log on to access the Internet or to register the devices they are using to obtain permission to access the network. Te reasoning behind the need for login or registration is sound: Te network operator wants to know who is accessing the network using which device so it can take remedial action if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, this approach has two drawbacks: First, it generates many help desk tickets, especially during the crucial move-in period, and second, residents dislike it because the mechanisms used frequently get in their way. A typical student housing resident is looking for a completely frictionless experience. In most cases, it is possible to operate a student housing network in a near-frictionless manner. Current network management tools and techniques ofer the ability to remove the friction from user access while maintaining network integrity. Te result will be happier residents, and happy residents make for higher levels of satisfaction, which in turn make for better occupancy rates. In a wired environment, Campus Technologies uses the "Best Buy" test to determine whether an environment is frictionless. In the Best Buy test, a resident can buy any connectable wired device from a store, take it back to the apartment, connect it to any jack – and it just works without the student's having to take any additional steps because of the network. In a wireless environment, the Best Buy test has one small caveat: Te wireless network, in common with almost all wireless networks, may require entry of a wireless password the frst time (and only the frst time) a device connects to it. CAN YOU REALLY DO THAT? Property owners and providers accustomed to logon or registration requirements often raise several objections when they frst learn about the frictionless approach. Fortunately, there are good answers to all these objections. Following are some of the more common objections: Objection #1: Too many wireless devices connected at once will make the system slow for others. Answer #1: Simply design your network with adequate density, plus some headroom. Te network design should allow for at least 10 wireless devices per bed space. Well-designed student housing networks with good network management tools really don't have to require device logon or registration.

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