Delivering ultrafast speeds to 3,500 student bedrooms in under a month
In May 2020, the University of Glasgow put the management of its student halls’ internet out to tender.
They wanted an estate-wide technology upgrade across eight sites in Glasgow, and three in Dumfries, covering over 3,500 student bedrooms in total.
We’d already provided the University with WiFi since 2002, and we were delighted to be awarded the tender for the new contract.
On the face of it, the brief was straightforward – upgrade the existing technology, so it lasts for at least the next ten years, increasing the capacity of the connection from 1 to 10 gigabits.
However, this work had to be completed against the challenging backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic. We also had to complete as much of the work as possible within a month, with tight budget constraints. Plus, the Glasgow sites were connected by a 20-year-old fibre optic network that needed an upgrade.
The result was an innovative solution that defied industry conventions.
Instead of replacing existing fibre cabling, we repurposed it. We used it to deploy special optics and fibre cables. This meant we could deliver more data across the site than ever before, while also delivering under budget.
In addition, we also upgraded all the network hardware—which made the network more cost effective, and easier to support in the long run.
Upgrading all the circuitry would normally take 60 days. We did it for Glasgow within a month, ready for the start of term.
By 1st September, we’d connected 90% of all rooms with the new network. Two weeks later, after we accessed buildings Glasgow had locked down due to Covid, we’d connected 95% of rooms. By the end of September, the whole site was ready.
Everyone’s health and safety was a priority during this project, demonstrated by the team remaining COVID-free upon completion.
Students now get ultrafast gigabit speeds, unlimited data and a secure personal network so they can work, rest and play, confident that their University WiFi will keep them connected to the people and services they love.
WiFi to 3,500 bedrooms and offices
Over 1,000 access points installed
“Despite some incredibly challenging circumstances relating to COVID19, the project to upgrade our University residential WiFi was well managed, with clear, honest communication throughout the project which enabled us to communicate to our residents and other stakeholders. Wifinity also appear open to working with the University to improve reporting mechanisms to provide a greater insight into the service provided.“
Callum Williamson | Business Development Manager Commercial Services | University of Glasgow