Columbus & Regional Campus Wi-Fi Implementation

The Ohio State University | Columbus , Ohio
Osborn provided Technology engineering as well as Architectural, Civil, Structural, and MEP services for the strategic design, coordination and implementation of a campus Wi-Fi system to deliver robust service to the greater Ohio State educational and medical campuses (Columbus and regional) to service students, faculty, staff and outside customers and vendors. The project budget was $18.6 million and encompasses all areas of the campus, from the historic century administration and classroom buildings, to modern labs, across the iconic “Oval” and in the landmark Ohio Stadium and Schottenstein Center.

This wireless campus redesign and expansion required more than doubling their current wireless density to well over 35,000 Access Points. Prior to this project, OSU was known in the industry as being a “connected” campus, providing wireless services to the student and staff. However, with the substantial growth of wireless in the fabric of daily life, as well as the increased abundance of online content for both educational and personal use, OSU determined the best solution for their environment was to increase density and provision the latest technology. Buildings were modeled using the latest RF software to provision one of several standard service models:

• Standard density
• High density
• Mobile connectivity
• Very high density for large public venues 

These models provided access points in configurations as few as two or three in a classroom environment to quantities as high as 1800 within The Ohio Stadium (The Shoe), 600 in the Schottenstein Center and 42 AP’s servicing the historic Mershon Auditorium. The system provides the latest wireless technology utilizing 802.11ac for maximum bandwidth. And, with the release of 802.11ax, a.k.a. WiFi 6, The Ohio Stadium became the first and largest stadium application of this bleeding edge technology. Even outdoor wireless availability has been addressed across campus green spaces and travel routes by leveraging exterior AP’s on various buildings, and embedding access points on and within many of the OSU branded cast light poles across campus.