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Wireless at HBS

Everyone loves wireless. It’s a beautiful thing, no wires. Reminds me of when my younger brother got sick of dial up cables and wanted to buy a computer with the whole Internet already on it. Great idea.

Speaking of which, the campus wireless network underwent a massive overhaul last summer. Aldrich classrooms were upgraded to provide streamlined coverage for all mainstream protocols (802.11 a/b/g), and the student dorms got wireless access for the first time since HBS went wireless four years ago. The improvements are part of an ongoing, three-year network upgrade. “Service is very good in the dorms now.” says Director of Technology Services, Ken Flaherty, “Our goal has been and continues to be to have pervasive coverage in all dorms and public areas.”

Flaherty and the MBA IT Support Services team are like the captains of a cruise ship – no one really notices when they do a great job. (When was the last time you emailed mbaitsupport@hbs.edu to say thanks for a job well done? Try it, see what happens.)

One of the more interesting tests of the latest network upgrades occurred while RCs explored the idiocy of unknown distributors and manufacturers in the Beer Game via classroom wireless access. The game went perfectly, according to Flaherty, “We monitored hundreds of laptop nodes in real-time during the entire game. This was one true litmus test for the new wireless network, and everything went off without a hitch.”

In fact, teams within the Information Technology Group monitor the status of the wireless network throughout the day, every day. “Success for us means being invisible to students,” says Flaherty, “the network should just work.”

For support: email mbaitsupport@hbs.edu or visit the MBA IT Support office in Spangler.

January 24, 2005
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