First steps to hi-tech UNN


Image: University of Nigeria Nsukka. VC Prof. Batu breaking ground for the campus WiFi towers. By GUAP
University of Nigeria Nsukka. VC Prof. Batu breaking ground for the campus WiFi towers

The University of Nigeria, Ntsukka has launched a campus-wide wireless network as part of its ICT infrastructure upgrades.

The university has an ambitious plan to develop world-class ICT infrastructures across the institution, including the best possible bandwidth, ICT training and high tech facilities.

The wireless network, inaugurated this month, is backed by bandwidth capacity by Main One Cable Company in partnership with MTN Nigeria.

Main One provided 50MB of international bandwidth capacity while MTN Nigeria provided the last mile solution to the University. In turn, the University has built a world class communications room in its ultra-modern ICT resource and data centre for the benefit of students and lecturers.

The university's ICT strategy also aims to make internet access available from all staff research desks, student workplaces and laboratories in the shortest possible time and run a ubiquitous, always on wireless network with 1 – 4 Mbps capacity per 1000 users.

The plan includes a storage area network of at least 10‐400 TB on which students and faculty can store data, infrastructure and application servers to provide management, security, identification, logging and network optimization services, a data centre to house them, a dedicated power supply and a virtual super computing facility for research.

All students and staff will be encouraged to own a PC or laptop, and the university will open a hardware repair centre and make laptop charging bays widely available.
Open source software would be sourced for the following areas:
• Architectural and Engineering design and Analysis
• Student Life Cycle Management
• Biological and life Science research and analysis software
• Document Management Systems, E‐Business and workflow
• Library information Systems
• E‐learning, Content and Knowledge Management
• Enterprise Resource Planning. Human Resources

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by his Vice, Alhaji Mohameed Namadi Sambo, said in commissioning the ICT Strategic Project, that the wireless network would be the “ widest wireless network owned by any university in Africa.”

He noted it had been facilitated by leading ICT firms, notably Google, MTN Nigeria, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft Corporation, Cisco Systems, Xirrhus, Wavion, Business Connection of South Africa, First Bank and Zenith Bank.

University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bartho. Okolo, said the new digital infrastructure and resources are geared towards improving the university academic standard, research enterprises and administrative functions. “ This project has actually set the university on the path of becoming a world-class university,” he said.

“ This will place the University of Nigeria on a level playing field with its local, regional and global competitors. We shall then be in a position to make the contribution of which this University is quite capable in the knowledge industry.”

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