Newcastle Sixth Form College
Newcastle Sixth Form College is part of NCG, one of the largest education, training and employability organisations in the UK. As one of the best performing A Level providers in the region Newcastle Sixth Form College prides itself on offering the 1,200 students enrolled at the college a comprehensive and supportive learning environment.
Challenges facing the College
When NCG decided to invest £22 million in a brand new, purpose built sixth form college, it seemed like an ideal time to update the network infrastructure too. The £22 million development project would see the sixth form college become a state-of-the-art building, with futuristic architecture and top of the range facilities. The new building needed a scaleable, intelligent and agile wireless network IT infrastructure solution that would allow students at the college to experience a modern approach to learning.
- The ageing wired network featured outdated hardware that needed updating.
- Patchy wireless coverage was only available at key locations across the college.
- Poor wireless connectivity was affecting the education of students and efficiency of staff.
- Management of the network was time consuming, with the college helpdesk spending large amounts of time issuing tokens for visitors to access the wireless network.
The DTP Network IT Infrastructure Service
DTP was selected to work with Newcastle Sixth Form College following a competitive tender process and was praised for its high levels of customer service and personal approach. The DTP-implemented network IT infrastructure service currently has 47 access points around the sixth form college and over 300 around the rest of NCG, with plans for this number to increase over the next 12 months. The college’s installation of the HP Wireless Platform is currently one of the largest within the education sector.
Benefiting from superior coverage and easy management
As part of the development plans, the sixth from college wanted students and teachers to have access to the latest technology for teaching, learning and work. The blanket wireless coverage offered by the HP Wireless platform means the college now benefits from superior wireless coverage in the classrooms with improved network quality and performance.
The new infrastructure is also optimised for growth, with the college owning the wireless management functionality. Prior to the implementation, the college had to renew its subscription every few years which was both costly and time consuming.
DTP AuthentiGATE Gate-management
One of the college’s key requirements when it came to their new wireless IT infrastructure service was the introduction of a comprehensive guest access platform. DTP was able to offer this, plus a host of additional features, with the introduction of the DTP-developed AuthentiGATE solution. This gate-management tool provides an easy way for the college to manage user traffic and gives them greater visibility over the platform.
Visitors are issued a wireless token to allow them to easily log on to the network, which then expires after a pre-defined time. The DTP AuthentiGATE solution has simplified the guest access process for Newcastle Sixth Form College. Reception desks around the college now have the ability to issue wireless tokens, which has significantly reduced the number of calls to the IT helpdesk.
Partnership for the future
The HP Wireless platform means the college is ideally positioned to offer students, staff and visitors an enhanced learning environment that is able to grow and accommodate advancements within the college.
Justin Hannan, Group Head IT Operations & Projects at NCG, commented: “I’m very pleased with our experience with DTP. The management and implementation of the HP Wireless network was smooth and was delivered on time and within budget.”
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