Skip to main content

You may be using a Web browser that does not support standards for accessibility and user interaction. Find out why you should upgrade your browser for a better experience of this and other standards-based sites...

Dartmouth Home  Search  Index

Dartmouth Home | Search | Index

Dartmouth home page
Computing at Dartmouth
Computing > Resources >  Network >Wireless > Focus >  

Wireless Network Facts

Wireless deployed: Spring 2001, first in the Ivy League.

Campus coverage: 100 percent.

Acres covered: Two hundred and five; about one square mile (plus a few off-campus sites, including an office building in Lebanon, NH, and the Skiway Lodge in Lyme, NH).

Access points: 1,400

Equipment: Aruba Networks 802.11 a/b/g access points. Thirteen main wireless controllers are distributed throughout campus. They control the operation of the access points.

IP Communicator: Starting with fall term 2003, Dartmouth introduced IP Communicator (previously called "softphones") to incoming freshmen in a phased-in rollout. As of October 31, 200 students had adopted the service. The rollout has garnered national attention in the industry. An article that captured the spirit can be found at

Student body: About 5,700 undergraduate and graduate students.

Faculty and staff: About 1,900.

Wireless network users: About 7,000 connections a day; the busiest time is late afternoon.

First Year students: In the fall of 2002, 88 percent of the incoming Class of 2006 chose laptops. In the fall of 2003, 98 percent of the incoming Class of 2007 chose laptops. Since the fall of 2004, laptops have been the standard issue for First Year undergraduates. All laptops issued since the fall of 2002 have had built-in wireless capability.

Classroom use: Integrating wireless technology into teaching is gaining momentum at the undergraduate level and at the graduate schools of engineering, medicine, and business. A couple of examples are the use of wireless PDAs in a Psychological and Brain Sciences class to provoke discussion by asking students to anonymously answer questions throughout the lecture via the handheld device, and a Thayer School of Engineering program that sends information, such as homework updates or lecture outlines, to a student’s wireless laptop, depending on the student’s location.

Research initiatives: Several research projects around campus utilize and analyze the wireless environment, and most projects involve students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. One important study focused on the wireless network itself, examining how and when it is used by our community. (Research results are available at Another research project involves sensor networks, which can help direct an object like a soldier or a robot through a dangerous region. The network senses changes in the environment and guides the object around unsafe areas. Dartmouth also pursues network and Internet security primarily through its Institute for Security Technology Studies, a national center for cyber security research, development, and assessment. A complete list of projects can be found at and

Wired network: Seven hundred twenty-five "10/100" Cisco 3550 and 3560 switches and seven core 650X routers in a meshed topology to insure maximum uptime. In the spring of 2003, Dartmouth completed its network upgrade enabling "convergence," the technology allowing Cable TV, voice, and data to travel through one line. With convergence has come the use of Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and "softphones." Software phones allow telephone calls to be placed and received over the wired and wireless network from laptop and handheld computers. The network is capable of 10/100/1000 to the desktop and a migration path to 10 gigabytes in the core.

Campus data ports (wired network): Approximately 23,500.

Commodity and Internet access: Dartmouth currently has 255 megabytes to the commodity Internet, and 155 megabytes to Internet2 through the NoX I II access point for research initiatives.

Video over IP: DarTV — a service that delivers broadcast television over Dartmouth's data network — has been rolled out to users on the wired network. All 62 channels are available to 802.11a-enabled wired locations. Of the 62 channels, 10 are international broadcasts, and the content of two of the channels is programmed by undergraduates.

Please note that Dartmouth's wireless network is measured and monitored for research purposes, with careful provision for the privacy of its users. This research study has been approved by CPHS (study #17325).

10/31/03, 4/25/05, 5/5/05

Last Updated: 9/6/07