Deakin Uni upgrades wireless communications system

Allows rural students to connect to 1Gbps fibre

Deakin University has upgraded its wireless infrastructure to allow remote student access to the university’s Wi-Fi from thousands of kilometres away.

About 30 per cent of the institution's student population - some 39,000 students - spend a significant amount of time off-campus throughout the year as part of their studies.

The university's executive director of IT, Peter Brusco, said the upgrade, known as DeakinSecure, is a big step up from the original hard-wired infrastructure, with the initial proof of concept set to grow from 60 to 2000 users once full production commenced.

“Our previous hard-wired solution limited students working at off-campus sites in many ways,” he said in a statement. “They did not have easy access to any of the high quality services available to students on campus, severely impacting their ability to work effectively.”

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With many of its health students completing placements in hospitals and medical clinics throughout regional parts of Victoria, Brusco said the IT team set up an encrypted Ethernet over IP (EoIP) between one such institution, the South West Alliance of Rural Health (SWARH), and Deakin’s Geelong campus.

“This solution is very much in line with our strategy to deliver ‘anywhere, anytime’ access to services for all of our students and staff,” he said.

Deakin’s Teaching, Training and Research Centre at Geelong Hospital housed the one gigabit (Gbps) physical connection, with the number of downloads averaging 10GB per day, with this set to rise as the user base grows.

South West Alliance of Rural Health (VIC) executive officer, Garry Druitt, said the rollout is promoting greater training between the university and the health service.

“We are trying to facilitate the training of doctors across our region and the best way to do this is to ensure that we provide them with access to educational resources while they are in our hospitals, without jeopardising the security of both our organisations,” he said in a statement.

“Effectively, with this project, we have extended the capabilities of both our fixed and wireless infrastructure to meet the different needs of SWARH staff and Deakin’s medical students.

"Our challenge now is to see how we can adapt the security profile to provide these students with access to specific SWARH resources to further their training, such as clinical applications.”

Deakin University has undergone several infrastructure upgrades of late, building its next-generation data centre on Cisco Unified Computing System technology and adopting a [{Artnid:353314|Tandberg-based video conferencing|new]] suite for monitoring campus activity.

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