University of Central Lancashire – WiFi Transformation

Case Study


The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is a leading modern university with thriving campuses in Preston, Burnley, Westlakes (Cumbria) and Cyprus.

Founded in 1828 as the Institution for the Diffusion of Knowledge, UCLan now has a staff and student community approaching 38,000 and an employment-focused course portfolio containing over 350 undergraduate programmes and nearly 250 postgraduate courses.

The Project

The University of Central Lancashire is undertaking a large-scale £200m refurb project for its Preston campus, focussing on updating their technologies and infrastructure to reflect their status as one of the UK’s leading modern universities.

As a cross-campus sized educational environment, UCLan have a significant amount of wireless networking equipment throughout the campus, built upon the Cisco wireless technology platform.

As wireless technology has evolved over time, so has the wireless deployment on the site, resulting in an organic variance of the technologies used across the campus. This meant there were a number of legacy 802.11a/b/g devices (approx. 170) and a range of new 802.11n/ac devices.

The University were looking at harmonising these technologies and bringing all the devices, where possible, more or less in line with each other, in terms of their performance and serviceable lifetime.

In order to facilitate the wireless swap out as efficiently as possible, Sudlows attended each site to perform the upgrade works on a building-by-building basis, swapping out all necessary WAPs in one single visit.

Sudlows IP Technology team replaced each legacy WAP as required and then patched the new WAPs back into the available outlet. For the legacy equipment, our Engineers fitted new brackets required to mount the newer style WAPs.

Sudlows worked closely with UCLan’s IT Team to ensure that all asset information was captured and that the APs were deployed in accordance with the University’s wireless placement strategy.

Sudlows maintained responsibility for managing the day to day coordination of such a project including arranging access to work locations, coordinating assets and managing the health and safety requirements of working in a live and multi-faceted environment.

The Conclusion

Sudlows delivered a technically robust, high performing and economically effective solution to UCLan’s wireless brief. The successful installation of the required new WAPs will enable the University to better align the lifecycle of their technologies and provide a consistent and quality user experience across their estate. Sudlows delivered this project in a live and multi-faceted environment, all while ensuring minimal disruption to the daily running of the University campus.

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