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Bringing University of Tennesee's campus up to speed
CommScope Senior Vice President
Inside Plant Copper & Enterprise Market
“Delivering power is one of the big roadblocks when deploying any technology outdoors, and can add significant time and costs to projects. Our Powered Fiber Cable System is ideally suited to campus environments and uses technology very familiar to IT professionals.”
Planning and design for phase one of the project began in 2015. It involved 16,400 feet of four-stranded fiber and two-conductor 12 AWG powered fiber cabling and 11 PoE extenders. The system connected a wide network of Aruba AP-275 outdoor wireless access points and Avigilon Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) security cameras.
Maintain outdoor aesthetics.
The centralized architecture can be hidden easily in outdoor lampposts and street work.
Achieve optimal safety.
The Powered Fiber Cable System has three stages of electrical protection, as well as low voltage electrical codes designed specifically for human safety.
Realize cost savings.
Instead of deploying expensive electrical power, CommScope uses SELV and NEC Class 2 cables – cutting conduit cost in half and eliminating any need for electricians.
Additionally, CommScope gets rid of remote PoE switch installation costs; the Powered Fiber Cable System is able to deliver PoE over distances 30-times longer than traditional PoE systems.
CommScope combines power and communications into one sheath for improved camera and wireless device placement and maximum coverage.
For the UT campus, the Powered Fiber Cable System meant faster, more reliable outdoor Wi-Fi access and increased security with a quicker, less-costly deployment. UT network managers recognized the potential of the solution to help power the university’s three-phase expansion project.
The university’s IT department chose to test out the CommScope Powered Fiber Cable System before committing to a full partnership that would keep the university’s staff and students constantly connected.
The Powered Fiber Cable System consists of hybrid copper/fiber cable and power over Ethernet (PoE) extenders. The CommScope system also comes with cable/ fiber management, power transmission management, safety and overload protection and a universal power supply. The entire system is built to withstand the elements of an outdoor setting.
The Powered Fiber Cable System enables CommScope customers to:
Finding a partner
up to the task
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
“We view CommScope as a trusted partner, capable of helping us tackle the unique challenges and ever-changing needs associated with connecting a higher education campus environment —like the University of Tennessee, Knoxville—to the future.”
A jumble of cables and visible “big boxes” for wireless access would mar visual
aesthetics, particularly at a campus as beautiful as University of Tennessee.
Safety is an issue when this much power is in play.
Gaining access to the necessary electrical power for an effective network can be difficult and expensive.
Deploying an outdoor wireless network with secure, seamless performance across a large
university campus presents a unique set of challenges:
The challenges of an expansive outdoor wireless network
Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is older than its state. The university has since grown to a total enrollment of 28,321 undergraduate and graduate students for the 2019 academic year, and houses the country’s fifth-largest college sports stadium, with seats for 102,455 screaming fans.
Despite the academic institution’s rich historical roots, the university is connected for the modern age. UT has indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi access points, operates three data centers, and maintains 220 miles of singlemode fiber optic cable and hundreds of security cameras across its 580 acres. With such a complex infrastructure, UT constantly looks for ways to update its networking power to provide staff and students the fastest and most secure wireless experience possible. As a part of a $1.2 billion renovation and expansion project in pursuit of that goal, UT turned to CommScope to deploy more outdoor wireless access points and security cameras throughout its campus.
University of Tennessee and CommScope:
A powerful partnership.
The University of Tennessee
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Similar in scope and design to the first—involved an additional 13,120 feet of powered fiber cabling and 10 more PoE extenders that were mounted on pole bases instead of existing structures.
Shortly thereafter, the team began work on the project’s final and most ambitious phase. Phase three involved 75,000 feet of powered fiber cabling—including the longest single pull of 3,700 feet—and the installation of 22 PoE+ extenders. Planning for the phase took about six months and the system was successfully deployed and tested in less than eight weeks.
Planning for future outdoor campus projects is well underway. Next up will be upgrades to the security camera systems at the university’s Sorority Village and Fraternity Park student housing areas. “We’ve already made the decision to go with CommScope and their PFC system,” Rayfield said.
Let’s shape the future of your campus network together
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