Network World is reporting that Morrisville State College will be the first in the country to roll out a campus-wide wireless network based on the 802.11n draft standard. Many large institutions have been hesitant to invest much time or money in 802.11n since the standard has not been finalized. However, hardware support is becoming prevalent on new laptops and the technology offers throughput on the order of 130MBps.
According to the article,
The actual 11n deployment hinges on the availability of Meru’s AP300, announced in April. The school’s athletes arrive back on campus Aug. 10 and Boland plans to have a wireless net ready by them. To do so, the college will deploy Meru’s existing 11abg AP as needed, replacing them with the AP300 as it becomes available in late August. In any case, by the end of September, the 1,800 students on this rural campus southwest of Syracuse, will become a living laboratory for 802.11n.
This is not the first cutting edge project for the university, which has also replaced wired phones with Nextel units and has issued incoming freshman Thinkpads for almost 10 years. However, their decision in large part was driven by the need to replace and expand existing infrastructure; administrators did not want to invest in gear that would be legacy equipment within a very short time.