NetStar deploys $7m university network

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NetStar has installed a $7 million converged voice and data network for Swinburne University giving 50,000 students across six campuses full wireless coverage and video.

NetStar has installed a $7 million converged voice and data network for Swinburne University giving 50,000 students across six campuses full wireless coverage and video.

Justin Bock, a senior account manager at the Australian arm of Hong Kong-based NetStar, said Swinburne University had bought new IP infrastructure using Cisco Security Agents that was expected to improve security while allowing mobility for users.

"NetStar is providing a flexible solution that, whether wired or wireless, offers the same characteristics across all Swinburne sites," he said.

The new IP network was more robust and reliable for support of voice, data and multimedia applications, he said.

"Disruptions to students and staff will be reduced as there will be less downtime due to equipment failure or forced upgrades of the aging PABX system," Bock said.

Cisco Security Agent would enable Swinburne to interrogate any device attempting to connect to the network, scan it for vulnerabilities and ensure that up to date anti-virus software and patches were installed before it was allowed to connect, Bock said.

NetStar said in a statement that Swinburne University had around 400 wireless base stations. Students and staff could access the Swinburne network for any location on the Victorian campuses any time.

The university had estimated it would save around $900,000 with the new infrastructure. The network combined voice, data, video and unified messaging using 18,000 IP endpoints and 4000 IP screen phones, NetStar said.

Richard Constantine, CIO and IT director at Swinburne University, said the new infrastructure would make it cheaper to deploy IP telephony.

"We will also benefit from a more sophisticated communications platform, enhanced capabilities and simplified maintenance," he said.

Swinburne had tried IP telephony four years ago and understood the benefits, he said.

"The new infrastructure will enable us to carry out our business more efficiently, address our organisational needs and achieve our goals over the coming years," Constantine said.

"We will also benefit from reduced costs in refurbishing old buildings or fitting out new ones through installing one cable as opposed to separate voice and data lines."

The new IP infrastructure would help the university undertake several new initiatives, such as implementing a new student administration system and participating in sophisticated research projects with outside partners that were not previously possible as well as meet increasing bandwidth demands, he said.
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