Network Upgrade Project

Please note that due to the retirement of the Project Manager, John Carroll, on 7th January 2010, this project is no longer managed through the Projects Team and these pages will not receive any further updates. For information on the project after this date, please contact:

Network Upgrade: Roger Snelling (Head of Networks)
Building Cabling & Enabling: Bernard Ireson (EDS)

Project details

The University’s current IT and telephone networks were largely installed in the early to mid 1990’s and some parts were installed in the 1980’s. These systems are now outdated and are not capable of supporting the required data and voice transfer throughput, resulting in increasingly poor performance for users. The current network was built up in a piecemeal fashion and there is no real resilience in the system resulting in regular ‘single points of failure’ across the network. In a nutshell, the equipment and cabling are close to being ‘unfit for purpose’. 

The primary objective of the project is to provide an upgraded network, which combines wired, wireless and mobile data and telephony. The upgrade will provide faster network access, wireless network across the Exeter Campuses (Cornwall Campuses are dealt with under a separate project) and greatly improved e-learning capabilities. It will offer increased protection against network damage and provide maximum reliability for the majority of users. The proposed changes will also allow easier integration of new technology and give uninterrupted service wherever required, making hot-desking and working from home easier for the end users. It will also support research and our science strategy. The project objectives will be delivered through four main deliverables:

  • Upgraded cabling to provide a faster, more resilient backbone which has room for future expansion.
  • Upgraded network switches and routers to provide a faster, more resilient network with multiple-routing options and room for future expansion.
  • Upgraded wireless access to provide for easier campus-wide roaming access and room for future expansion.
  • Upgrade to a voice over internet protocol (VOIP) telephony system to provide a modern, resilient telephony system with room for future expansion.

Successful achievement of these objectives should be measurable through ease of use, improved network response times, less network failure and ease of future growth.

The project started in January 2008 and is being carried out over three phases and is scheduled to finish in December 2010.