AirBear Wireless Computer Network Expands To Additional Locations

Feb. 6, 2002

by Nicole L. Anderson, Student Newswriter

After its initial beginnings at selected campus locations, Baylor University's wireless computer network, AirBear, has expanded significantly to include additional buildings and outdoor areas where students, staff and faculty members can connect to the Internet on their laptop computers.

AirBear was first available in February 2001 in Moody, Jones and Poage libraries, as well as the Bill Daniel Student Center. In addition to those areas, AirBear can be accessed from residence halls, the McLane Student Life Center, Hankamer School of Business, Rogers School of Engineering and Computer Science, Fountain Mall, Sheila and Walter Umphrey Law Center and Pat Neff Hall. The wireless network recently has been added to the new George W. Truett Theological Seminary and the Baylor Marina.

"Those students who have purchased a wireless ethernet card are able to come over here to the seminary and use their laptop computers anywhere, even outdoors in the Reynolds Courtyard," said René Maciel, assistant dean for administration and academic services at Truett Seminary.

The service is free to anyone with a valid Baylor ID and password and allows users the luxury of Internet access without being physically connected to network cables. However, users must first purchase a wireless ethernet card and download the free network authentication (NetAuth) software from the AirBear web site.

"Once a laptop is properly configured, students, faculty and staff can sit in any coverage area, such as right outside the coffee shop in the student center, and connect to the network," said Carl Flynn, assistant ResNet support coordinator in Baylor's Information Technology Center (ITC). "They can work on a project, do research, download homework and check e-mail whenever they are near any access point. It might not be as fast a connection as a hard-wired network, but it is faster than a 56K modem."

Baylor students have enjoyed the convenience of AirBear virtually wherever they are on campus.

"It's great because I can be sitting at a table in the SUB and check my e-mail or pull down a syllabus or assignments for classes without being connected by wires, or having to wait in line for one of the computers in the SUB to open up," said Micah Lamb, a senior from Waco.

For more information on AirBear, including campus coverage maps and set up, visit the AirBear web site at www.baylor.edu/~airbear/ or contact Chris Lemon, ResNet support coordinator in ITC, at (254) 710-4550 or ResNet_Comments@baylor.edu.

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