Because of a recent partnership between Stony Brook University and Verizon, students will notice a significant improvement in wireless performance this semester.
A distributed antenna system (DAS) was implemented throughout West Campus late last year with the help of Stony Brook University’s Division of Information Technology (DoIT) and the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT). This helps to boost coverage and performance of Verizon devices where quality was lacking before.
“Several years ago the university embarked on a journey to fix major radio frequency coverage gaps across the campus,” Michael Ospitale, DoIT’s campus network manager, said, “Realizing that the campus had the necessary in-house expertise to resolve the issue was the first step, then it came down to finding the right cellular carrier as a partner.”
In 2011, Ospitale worked in Campus Residences. He used to receive constant complaints from students in Noble Halls and West Apartments about the terrible cell reception, and turned to a start-up company in CEWIT to alleviate it, according to Director of Data Network Services Jim Hart.
“Verizon was able to implement a low-cost solution by leveraging technology from Intelibs, which completely covers the campus with a high-quality cellular signal,” Ospitale said.
According to an article on Stony Brook University Happenings, the problem began with the recently built Yang and Lauterbur Halls. Author Kerrin Perniciaro, manager of IT Communications and Web Strategy, wrote that the buildings were constructed with materials certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) to save energy.
But these materials were also preventing radio signals from going inside the buildings, causing students to voice concerns.
Intelibs, a DAS equipment provider founded by Seyong Park, collaborated with Verizon Wireless on the mission to bring better wireless service to students and faculty. Park is a Ph.D. graduate in electrical engineering at Stony Brook University.
Last year Verizon apportioned $400 million to upgrade its wireless performance in the New York metro area. As a result, the entire project came at no cost to Stony Brook—Verizon handled the financial expenses.
Also in the article from Stony Brook’s online newsletter, Park says, “This solution makes sense for Stony Brook because it is such a large venue and hard to cover by a single tower, not to mention how many people are using a multitude of different devices all trying to connect at the same time.”
The DAS system was activated on New Year’s Eve. Harrison Rose, a junior majoring in environmental design, policy and planning, is thoroughly pleased with the boost in coverage.
“I wouldn’t get good service in the library and Union before. But I’ve definitely noticed a difference in service,” Rose said.