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Wireless Networks Thread, Wireless Network Cost? in Technical; We currently have a a couple of small Belkin access points in classrooms and this morning the head has asked ...
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    TechSupp's Avatar
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    Wireless Network Cost?

    We currently have a a couple of small Belkin access points in classrooms and this morning the head has asked what would it cost to give the whole school a wireless network to which my technical reply was 'possibly lots'.

    So...has anyone any idea of ballpark figure and what kind of equipment I would need to give a good wireless network over the school. Its not a large school as its a primary and only one class per year group and the network would have to run along side of the existing wired network.

    Can't see the point myself for what use it would have as its only the teachers who have wireless laptops and they are always plugged in to the wired network and attached to a smartboard, but he wants a roaming caperbility.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    erm...how long is this piece of string..?

    Maybe have a word with some of the suppliers to get an idea of needs etc - personally I'd recommend the guys at Net-Ctrl and the ruckus system.

    But you're certainly gonna be looking at more than the cost of lots of little belkin access points, but the difference in a managed system is immense.

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    apoth0r's Avatar
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    I've only heard good things about Ruckus!
    Would be well worth finding someone with the kit and taking a look, I know I was amazed at how marvellous the kit was.
    CP Ltd are a reseller/partner (can't remember which) might be worth giving Simon a call for a rough quote.

  4. Thanks to apoth0r from:

    CPLTD (18th May 2009)

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    I work 6 primaries and I've had a good deal of luck with Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 access points in 2 of them. These are £50 devices.

    I've got one per class plus extra ones for suite and/or staff rooms and they happy to let 15 laptops/eeePC netbooks connect up at a time.

    So that's about £500 for hardware.

    (I don't run my machines as domain clients so I don't know how they'd be at logon time on that sort of network but they are fine for loading/saving and printing work out in a lesson)

    I cycle using channels 1,6, and 11 to minimise interference between classes.

    I set them up by configuring one, saving the config and then reloading it onto the next one and then just change its IP/Channel.

    I had a lot of trouble with earlier Buffalo APs (I think I got the proverbial bad batch!) but these have been fine.

    Only had one laptop that wouldn't connect to them - changed from windows wireless control to manufacturers software and it now works OK.

    In the other hand, I'm helping setup another school where they intend to have a lot of wireless netbooks and they've said they want to do things properly and so I'm currently in the process of getting a quote from Net-Ctrl for a Ruckus set up as everyone here says it is the Rolls-Royce solution

    regards

    Simon

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    i have just had some quotes for 6 schools for the Ruckus system and there between £5000 to £6500 depending on the size of the school and the cabling needs.

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    ServersPlus's Avatar
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    Happy to get one of our guys to come out on-site (free of charge) and review your requirements checking for any possible issues etc. If you're interested just drop me a PM with your details and we'll be in touch shortly.

    Thanks

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    MarkPower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechSupp View Post
    We currently have a a couple of small Belkin access points in classrooms and this morning the head has asked what would it cost to give the whole school a wireless network to which my technical reply was 'possibly lots'.

    So...has anyone any idea of ballpark figure and what kind of equipment I would need to give a good wireless network over the school. Its not a large school as its a primary and only one class per year group and the network would have to run along side of the existing wired network.

    Can't see the point myself for what use it would have as its only the teachers who have wireless laptops and they are always plugged in to the wired network and attached to a smartboard, but he wants a roaming caperbility.
    Would be more than happy to help if you need it as and when.

    All the best

    Mark
    01473 281211

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    As I stated, Xirrus does it for me. You should check them out. Quick replies and all, but I'd advise you to check out other companies as well for comparison purposes. Also think about it this way, since your school isn't relatively large, you shouldn't be spending that much money compared to the larger schools.

    As far as deploying wireless across the school, it's actually a great tool. I know for now that only the teachers have access, but think about the possibilities with wireless for all students as well. Online and E-Learning would increase. You can implement test taking online as well (great way to save trees and grades a lot faster).

    I wouldn't be surprised if a few years from now all students even in Elementary are allowed to bring laptops to school. Even with the iTouch, students are able to access certain websites to help with their studies.

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    We are installing Ruckus over the summer break which will leave us with around 35 Buffalo G54 Airstations doing nothing in storage. They all work, but we have outgrown them.

    They will be available from Sept so if you or anyone else is interested make me an offer (by 'me', I mean the school)

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    as a ball park with Net ctrl and rukkus system an estimate for 9 AP's on a managed system was abot 5K for a wireless G system and 9K for wireless N. Small school. I sent some photagraphs of the place off and a plan of the buildings to Aggy at NEt-Ctrl and they cam back to me with the figures. For what its worth the hastle of multiple small individually congfiured APs is a PITA if you are looking at doing anything more than a couple of rooms a managed system is the way to go. but you can see the desire for the cost saving when you look at a few hundreds against many thousands, and let the tech have all the headaches of an unreliable system + all the separate configs.
    Last edited by Hacksawbob; 27th May 2009 at 09:39 AM.

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