JaseO (17th May 2008)
Wireless does technically have enough bandwidth for video streaming, but of course it depends what quality the video is, what other services are using the bandwidth but also how many devices are connecting to any one access point at any one time.1. Suitability of a wireless solution for video streaming, media rich activities, etc.
Just as wired connections have become faster - 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1Gbps and now 10Gbps, wireless also has various standards, with the most common being 54Mbps for the time being.2. Future-proofing - will wireless be able to handle everything that comes along?
There is no evidence to suggest it causes harm to humans. Mobile phones have been around a long time now, yet the rate of people with brain tumours or cancer hasn't suddenly rocketed upwards. The only difference with wireless networks is you could typically work at a computer for hours and hours everyday, you don't generally spend time on the phone for that long, so exposure to wireless is drastically increased.3. Health & safety - high density of wireless devices/access points in such close proximity
What is the solution you ask? In my opinion, the perfect solution is a combination of both. Desktops should all be wired and you'll need to wire areas of the building to strategically place your access points anyway. This way you cater for desktops (which are generally faster than notebooks), but you also cater for mobile devices - notebooks, PDAs etc... which are on the increase and are more suited to wireless connections for that true mobile experience.
I suspect the cost case favouring wireless is based upon the fact that ICT suites need both data and power cabling, whereas fitting out a classroom with wireless will only need data cables for APs if you use PoE switches.
Power circuits need cables, trunking, circuit breakers and you need power & data trunking to distribute them. Fixed cabling imposes space & design limitations on room sizes & layouts too. Installing cabling is expensive and the price of copper is rising all the time, along with other building materials.
The preliminary design thinking for my school under BSF eliminates all ICT suites in favour of a full wireless network (apart from admin & servers). Part of the argument is that you can save money on the cabling etc & spend it on giving every student a computer. Coincidently you can also build the school smaller. The issues I raised surrounding charging, managing & securing 1000+ battery powered wireless devices have as yet been left unanswered. Hopefully when the final bid is received we will be told how this will be achieved.
Last edited by broc; 15th May 2008 at 07:44 PM.
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