INT students at FHSU help TMP-M upgrade its computer network

06/03/14 sry
Many teachers complained about the wireless internet signals across the Thomas More Prep-Marian High School campus. The wireless network was suffering from low signal areas throughout the three floors of the main buildings and in the Field House. Some wireless access points were not transmitting and receiving the proper signal or just not working at all.

Five information networking and telecommunications seniors at Fort Hays State University took on the challenge to upgrade the computer network as part of their capstone project.

"This was an excellent chance to work with the private education sector in the IT department and adapt to their unique needs," said Jamie Brown, Hays, one of the team members. "I feel we not only completed outstanding field work, but made a meaningful impact within out community."

The students worked with Scott Brown, director of information technology at TMP-M, to reconfigure and reboot the wireless access points on the network and resolve the low-to-no signal areas.

Wireless security was another concern on the network. The students upgraded protocols, which also included changing the encryption to make hacker attack more difficult.

When the work was done, the team found that TMP-M's wireless network was working five times faster than before, signals were stronger across campus and complaints decreased.

The students also moved the electrical power from the floor to an organized system on the wall for safety in the network closet where network hardware and cabling is installed.

"We also toned and tested the ports in each classroom, computer lab, and offices throughout the campus to match the patch panel in the network closet," said Jamie Brown. "We then labeled said ports and patch panels and documented their locations for a simplified system to manage network operations and resolve any future network issues."

The student's who worked on the project are: David Guiboa, Killeen, Texas, Austin Bridge, Goddard, Jamie Brown, Hays, Ryan Dick, Wichita and Marcus Schmidt, Spearville.

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