Reliable Connectivity is Critical to Higher Education Security

Always-on-everywhere mobile service is essential to creating a positive student experience on higher education campuses. Classroom learning is the most prominent application, but the need for reliable mobile connectivity goes far beyond classroom learning. Students want to research and do their work anywhere on campus. They want to connect easily with friends and family. Most importantly, they want to feel safe on campus.

In-Building Connectivity Issues Affect Coverage and Interrupt Security Measures

Many factors affect mobile coverage on campus.  To offer students, visitors, and staff the reliable mobile coverage they expect for day-to-day operations, and the safe campus experience they need, plan to overcome each of these factors:

  • Physical barriers stand in the way of cellular signals. Heritage building materials, unusual architecture, or modern LEED materials can stop cellular signals from covering all areas of a building or campus. Surrounding hills, trees, and adjacent structures can also block cellular signals.
  • Wi-Fi is sometimes seen as the best connectivity solution since it is inexpensive, and installation and moves are easy. But Wi-Fi is subject to interference and can become overloaded during sporting or educational events when usage spikes.
  • In-building cellular issues can also be caused, paradoxically, by too much signal. If there are too many overlapping signals in the area, the phone cannot use any of them effectively and can hop from one source to another, resulting in service interruptions.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G technologies are here, and that means even greater demands for bandwidth.
  • IT staff is responsible for supporting multiple applications and thousands of students, so cellular solutions must efficiently solve problems without increasing their burden.

Security Threats and Regulations Drive New Applications

While higher education campuses are generally safe, crimes happen. Property crimes account for 95.5% of campus crime. Violent crime makes up 4.1% of the total, and arson accounts for the remaining 0.4%. Among other recommendations, students use on-campus security apps and security cameras to protect valuables.

Schools install security systems, train security personnel and students, use applications to send push alerts to students, and provide security to students living off-campus. Fire protection, video surveillance, remote building locking, and a growing need for sophisticated card access control systems are essential to a modern campus security plan.

Government regulations requiring higher security levels continue to drive the need for increasingly sophisticated security measures, and higher education has to respond to receive government funding. Every new application requires always-on-everywhere connectivity.

The Clery Act

Changing legislation can make staying on top of government campus safety regulations challenging, and government funds can hang in the balance. Industry experts advise higher education to consult the Clery Act for guidance because it is less likely than other legislation to change.

The Clery Center website says, “The Clery Act is a consumer protection law that aims to provide transparency around campus crime policy and statistics. To comply with the Clery Act’s requirements, colleges and universities must understand what the law entails, where their responsibilities lie, and what they can do to foster campus safety actively.”

The Clery Act requires that the school keep a crime log, make it accessible to students and the public, and keep records for seven years.

Each of the systems that provide the necessary information requires connectivity, and reliability is critical for accurate reporting.

SOLiD Solutions

SOLiD DAS solutions deliver the campus-wide ubiquitous service providing students, staff, and visitors with an excellent experience. Part of that experience is knowing that wherever they are on campus, they are safe. Law enforcement or security guards are not always present in an emergency. The security app on a mobile phone is a finger tap away anywhere, anytime.

Every building on campus, no matter the materials or architecture, can offer seamless service provided by ALLIANCE 5G DAS designed and implemented by SOLiD certified engineers.

SOLiD’s ALLIANCE 5G DAS solution is a fiber-to-the-edge remote unit that is as easy to install as Wi-Fi, with an attractive, low-profile, integrated antenna. The edgeROU has the highest output power of any DAS remote in its class and offers excellent upgrade potential. As with all ALLIANCE 5G DAS products, upgradeability and modularity provide insurance against obsolescence.

In-house IT is already taxed with new security applications and government reporting requirements. Let SOLiD’s experts evaluate your campus and see what it would take to provide the always-on-everywhere service needed today and for the emerging applications of tomorrow. Contact your SOLiD advisor today at (888) 409-9997 or email us at