Fiber optics to be upgraded on Kenwood campus this summer

The UWM Kenwood Campus will be part of a major information technology renovation project.

This summer, an upgrade will be made to the fiber optic campus infrastructure. This refers to all the outside plant fiber optic cabling that interconnects all the buildings on campus to network services, such as the internet.

This initiative is part of a state project and is the largest infrastructure change that UWM has had in nearly a decade. The completion of this project puts in place the foundation to support follow-on projects to upgrade network equipment to modern standards.

The new fiber optic cabling will allow the campus network to reach its full potential, which includes:

  • Increasing the speed that supports modern applications – this includes those required for distance learning services.
  • Updating the campus network topology – new physical cabling and the increased capacity and paths allow for more resilience and flexibility in future network designs.
  • Upgrading the core switching infrastructure – the existing equipment using obsolete cabling is extremely dated and could not take advantage of the new fiber. Replacement of these core connections will immediately remove some of the worst bottlenecks on the network, as well as support ongoing network modernization with a focus on increased reliability, bandwidth and service automation.

The timeline for this project is provided by the State of Wisconsin and work is being done daily to prepare our campus for the upcoming change. The installation of the new fiber optic cabling is expected to start in early to mid-June. UWM’s network engineers will oversee the installation across 40-plus campus buildings throughout the summer. The planning will be building by building with minimal outages anticipated (two hours or less outage for each building). More direct communication will be shared with each affected building/area once the installation is scheduled to begin.

This major IT project will benefit UWM’s network services exponentially and set up a positive infrastructure for future upgrades and modernization. More information will be shared once the installation start date is set. Future updates on this project will be added to the IT News webpage.

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