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LAU campuses go wireless


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Mobile internet access and roaming voice communications are two current applications of the wireless network.

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Watch video presented at inauguration.


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Minister Cardahi, Dr. Jabbra.

December 13, 2004—

LAU’s information technology services have leapt forward with the official launching of an extensive wireless network in December 2004.

The addition of wi-fi hotspots covering the entire campuses in Beirut and Byblos is a natural extension to the ubiquitous cable-based network already in place, according to Assistant Vice President for Information Technology Roy Majdalani.

The infrastructure was provided by Cisco Systems. It allows students, faculty and staff equipped with wi-fi computers or PDAs to access internet and intranet resources from most locations on campus. Users need their email name and password to connect. The IT Help Desk will also provide login parameters for guests.

The network is based on high-speed specifications known as 802.11b and 802.11g that deliver speeds comparable to cable-based networks. This allows for multimedia services such as voice over IP and video.

The network includes 186 access points covering all university buildings. The wi-fi signals can be picked up over a total of 50,000 square meters indoors and 120,000 square meters outdoors on both campuses. With the upcoming inauguration of new buildings the number of hotspots will increase to 250 and the indoor area coverage, to 86,000 square meters.

High speed and wide coverage will make the network a major conduit for academic endeavors, learning resources and administrative procedures. LAU President Joseph Jabbra said, “our vision is to create a world-class IT environment that fosters a productive educational and working environment for LAU students, faculty and staff.” The university has more than 6,000 students and 850 faculty and staff members.

Cisco was selected for its commitment to security and support. The company also maintains an academy training center on LAU premises. “IT and the internet have a critical role to play in providing quality education to large populations,” said Mark DeSimeone, Cisco’s Middle East & Africa Vice President. “We are proud to be working with the Lebanese American University on this key initiative for Lebanon and the region,” he said.

The December 8 inauguration gathered high-profile speakers including Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications Jean-Louis Cardahi, delegates from Lebanon’s Ministry of Education and the U.S. Embassy, DeSimeone, Dr. Jabbra, Vice President for Finance and Administration Elias Baz and Majdalani.


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