By Zach Taylor, University Relations Student Writer
Students and faculty across campus are enjoying improved Internet speeds and a host of other improvements this year. With the help of the Tennessee Air National Guard’s 241st Engineering Installation Squadron, the UTC Single Mode Fiber Optics Network was expanded and recently installed.
The additions have led to an increase from 1 GB to 10 GB service in all major buildings, as well as 3.1 GB bandwidth across the entire campus. With the inclusion of the Virtual Desktop Initiative, all on-campus computers, classroom podiums, computers labs, and the library can now be updated at once, saving time and resources.
For Thomas Hoover, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Information Officer, these advancements not only enhance the classroom experience, they also give the University a step up in attracting new students to campus.
“We now have some of the fastest Internet on a college campus in the country. With increased speeds and coverage, students and faculty can look forward to a much more user-oriented experience in the classroom with a greater use of multimedia tools. The continued expansion of our Internet bandwidth provides UTC a major competitive advantage in meeting the Internet needs of students and demonstrates that UTC is continuing to improve the value proposition of a UTC education,” said Hoover.
The new fiber cables will support the UTC Community Area Television (CATV) Network, a completely UTC owned and operated cable TV distribution system for the campus. The change will bring huge savings for the University as well as a more convenient process with maintenance and repairs. Dedicated fiber optics cables will be available to 14 major student housing points. Students are able to choose the channels provided in the package.
“A large scale housing survey was taken and students were able to choose what networks would be included in the package, letting us meet the needs and wants of our students and also allowing us to study student trends from year to year,” said Hoover.
Digital signage has also been installed around campus, helping to streamline inter-departmental communication and provide location-specific information. Other upcoming features include a campus way-finder and an up-to-the-minute CARTA route tracker.