MARQUETTE, Mich.—Northern Michigan University’s WiMAX network is operational in Negaunee. The expanded coverage brings broadband wireless Internet access to even more off-campus students. It also allows NMU to partner with Negaunee government and education officials to develop programs and services that take advantage of the wireless network. University employees are completing the final adjustments and testing this week, but the system is up and running. “WiMAX is a solid win for Negaunee and NMU alike,” said Eric Smith, director of broadcast and AV services at Northern. “Both partners have contributed critical system components enabling this fourth-generation wireless broadband resource that offers enhanced educational and governmental services to city residents. It’s the competitive advantage we need in rural America to help keep small communities strong and healthy.” In August, NMU became one of the first universities in the nation to deploy a WiMAX network. It is capable of transmitting data over broad areas with less interference and more efficient bandwidth use compared with the more common WiFi. And while WiFi hot spots enabled NMU to cover about 10 percent of the City of Marquette, the WiMAX transmission system—or “broadband highway”—offers virtually 100 percent coverage and the potential to expand beyond the city limits. Smith said NMU students have helped with the WiMAX project, gaining valuable hands-on experience in constructing a 4G network.
Smith can be reached at 227-1314
February 15, 2010