Embarq, one of the largest local communications companies in the country, has announced a partnership with the University of Missouri-Rolla to conduct a Wi-Fi broadband network trial on the UMR campus. The trial, which is expected to last 90 days or more, will create free mobile wireless broadband access for students, faculty, staff and campus safety personnel.
The trial also provides Embarq with a technologically savvy partner able to provide measurable insights into user experience and acceptance of the technology. The footprint of the trial will cover one half of a square mile, blanketing most of the campus and reaching some businesses along the U.S. Highway 63 corridor.
“UMR is pleased to partner with Embarq to complement our strong indoor wireless presence with nearly complete outdoor wireless coverage for the campus community,” says Brian Buege, UMR’s interim chief information officer. “This is a significant milestone in making ‘anywhere’ computing a reality for the campus.”
There are already 10 “hot spots” stationed around the campus to support the outdoor network. Each of the so-called hot spots is interconnected to provide wireless service at broadband speeds in the coverage areas. Users will have the freedom to roam in and out of buildings without losing connectivity.
UMR has been ranked one of the top 25 most connected campuses in the nation by Forbes.com and the Princeton Review.
“By partnering with UMR, Embarq has the privilege of assisting in enhancing the educational pursuits of the faculty, staff and students,” says Kenny Wyatt, Embarq’s vice president of marketing and product development for business. “This partnership advances our mission of working side-by-side with local communities to bring them cutting-edge technologies that deliver the newest products and services.”
Embarq, which is headquartered in Overland Park, Kan., has also established the Embarq UMR Scholars Fund, a source of permanent funding for UMR students who qualify for the scholarships. The investment was made as part of Embarq’s commitment to higher education and to the families and communities in which it does business.