In 2006, as world events and a need for enhanced security continued to shape our culture, Quinnipiac University (QU) began to re-evaluate its campus communications ability. Campus security become a top priority as the need to alert students to both weather and safety events converged with the growing demand for increased capacity and connectivity for mobile devices.
Running Quinnipiac operations at the time was Bandwidth Logic's newest team member, Jim Trella.
â€œWe began noticing that we were having trouble keeping up communications with our students. and at the same time started noticing that they were all attached to their cell phones.â€ Jim Trella.
The university had the foresight to embrace the new cellphone culture as an early adopter. The university removed 75% of the landlines on its 270-acre main campus and began to build both a WiFi network and a cellular system in a bold move toward the future. Trellaâ€™s position at Quinnipiac changed as well, â€œWe began devising mobile programming and networking in order to facilitate more reliable communication with our students and staff. At the same time, I changed hats and began to oversee this new and growing demand.â€
Building a DAS with a neutral host was a fairly new approach. Trella sought advice from industry expert and Bandwidth Logic president, Mark Parr, who was designing the network for Quinnipiac, â€œMark was the one giving me all the cutting edge information on what to do, how to proceed, and how to work with the carriers.â€
With Parrâ€™s input, Trella helped the school bring the first carrier into the fold, arranging financing for the project that would enhance the cellular signal for the QU community. By October 2008, Quinnipiac lit up its first DAS on its main campus, but the work was far from complete as Quinnipiac continued to grow in size and scope.
The university added four new buildingsâ€“ a 2,000 bed residence hall, student center, parking garage for 2,500 cars, and a state-of-the-art dual-use sports facility for basketball and hockey: the TD Bank Sports Center. Signal and capacity are critical for high profile arena events. (Fun fact: The Quinnipiac Bobcats recently competed for the NCAA National Championship in Mens Ice Hockey.) Later, the university acquired a third campus (with four buildings totaling over 1,000,000 sq. ft.) which now includes a medical school.
The flexibility of Parrâ€™s scalable design proved successful as they migrated the DAS on the second campus into a neutral host system. The demand for the same was satisfied on the third campus as well. Upgrades continue today on all three campuses to meet the growing needs of the QU community, most of which is financed by the carriers.
Quinnipiac put in place a seamless wireless system as well as campus-focused applications that broadcast emergencies, weather closures, shuttle bus information, directory information, and group messaging. Today, Quinnipiac is a showcase for wireless connectivity and capacity providing other large universities and organizations a view of a state-of-the-art campus network in practice.