First Large-Scale Draft 802.11n Wireless LAN Successful

The IT staff at Morrisville State College, where the first large-scale Draft 802.11n wireless LAN is being designed, says the prototype gear exceeds expectations. The New York college, near the state's rural center, is in the final stage of building a pervasive campuswide WLAN based initially on Meru Networks' existing 802.11a/b/g access points. Those will start to be replaced this month and next with the newest Meru access points, which have a chipset that supports 11n. The first ten of these were shipped to the college last week.

With 11n, users can expect to see throughput of 100M to 300Mbps, depending on how the access point and client adapter are configured. That compares with 20M to 25Mbps today for 11a and 11g WLANs. In addition, users can expect to see high throughput sustained over longer distances from 11n access points. In tests that began in June, Morrisville network administrators are finding that 11n is delivering on its promise.

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News source: PCWorld

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LavaIce and Zethreal were both colleagues of mine at Morrisville. I have to hope that all this added marketing for the college doesn't end up causing an overflow of students. We often see colleges allow a much larger student body to be accepted as freshman than they can realistically cater to. As it was when I graduated in 2004, the rooms were already in overflow mode...since then a new dormitory has been built, but I've heard in the near future some of the older quads will be torn down in favor of building yet more new dormitory buildings.

Either way, don't let the technology fool you. This is primarily an agricultural school, with automotive and technical degrees - and massage therapy (oh yeah!). It is, however, about time the wireless connectivity was upgraded. There were no LAN connections in the dorm rooms themselves and with students trying to leach as much bandwidth as they possibly could from p2p networks (LavaIce, I still hate you for not letting me even load up Google because of your downloads, ya jerk!), even 10 students per access point was a huge load.

The problem I see will unfortunately not be solved with the faster network. This will increase the speed of the on-campus network so that students can access their networked file shares and class files easier (and play LAN games better), but access to the internet will more than likely still have the same bottleneck as it did when the 802.11 wireless APs were in use.

Well I have to say that this article is a little misleading I am an Alumni 2005. They are rolling out Meru's a/b/g until they can go to the 11n because they were using Raylink 802.11, not a/b/g anything. It's taken them six years to finally overall the network. We had to pay $99 for a Raylink PCMIA that you could use no where. They one year removed the internal wireless cards from the Thinkpad T41's they ordered, as in they specifically requested them with no wireless cards!

I have however, gotten a much better impression of what they are doing with the new implementation. They had an open question forum. One thing they are doing is a trade in program for the old Raylink cards to the new 11n cards.

So time will tell if this is actually successful or not because like I said they are rolling out a/b/g right now because Meru's 11n products haven't even hit the market yet!

I wish they would have made an effort to jump having wireless access points every 30ft or so to have coverage everywhere that only offered 2Mbits per second shared while I was attending.

The article I mentioned is here: N.Y. state college takes the plunge, plans 11n WLAN rollout this summer it goes into more details.

Well, as I was a student here, I can tell you that any improvement in wireless speeds will be a vast one. The college has actually been using 802.11 with a 2mb limit (student cards were raylink/raytheon), not a/b/g specs... I'm glad they're finally upgrading and I hope 11n does everything they want it to.

Successful? They haven't built it yet. Sounds a little too much like "Mission accomplished".

I'm sure it will work to some degree, but how much better than a/b/g remains to be seen...