Greenville Tech gets funds to go wireless

JULY 14, 2011

Greenville Tech gets funds to go wireless

Gift will give students Internet access anywhere on campus

The cloud is coming.

Starting this fall, Greenville Technical College students will be able to get on the Internet from anywhere on the main campus, after installation of a $250,000 wireless network.

Greenville-based technology firm ScanSource and two other companies are donating the system, which will put the Barton campus entirely under an Internet cloud, school and corporate said Wednesday.

The system also will include security cameras that will allow police to wirelessly monitor the campus.

ScanSource, which specializes in barcoding, communications and security systems, is making the donation, along with Motorola Solutions Inc., and Axis Communications.
It's expected to be in operation by Aug. 15 for the start of fall semester.

“Where in the past (students) may have had to go to a computer lab or something like this, now if they have their own computer, they can sit out on the front lawn or in the parking lot and access the information,” Greenville Tech President Keith Miller told GreenvilleOnline.com.

“It truly is a tool to help the students overcome barriers in time and place.”
Wi-fi is available now in some campus buildings, although coverage is “very limited,” Miller said.

“This will open up the system completely and create ease of access,” he said.
College and corporate officials announced the donation in an event attended by local political, education and business leaders.

The project began after Greenville Tech officials presented ScanSource CEO Mike Baur with the idea nearly two years ago. The company, which has 1,300 employees worldwide and $2 billion in annual sales, was looking for a way to help the school because it benefits from Tech's training for its employees, Baur said.

“If Greenville Tech does well, that's good for ScanSource,” he said. “If Greenville Tech and ScanSource do well, that's good for South Carolina and of course Greenville as well.”

Motorola donated the hardware for the 802.11n network, which is the most robust wireless technology on the market, according to Motorola's corporate vice president for North America Enterprise, Jim Welch.

Axis contributed the security cameras.

The system will use antennae every 200 feet or so to ensure complete coverage from one end of campus to the other, said Greg Dixon, chief technology officer for ScanSource.

“I think it's good,” said Nikolas Sanso, a 2010 Travelers Rest graduate who is taking college transfer courses this summer at Tech. “I think it's a necessity also, that people can access it from anywhere instead of having to be in a certain spot.”

Originally posted July 13, 2011 on www.greenvilleonline.com. Written by Ron Barnett.