Janet (UK), the organisation responsible for the UK's higher education and research network, has announced that a new high capacity data service for universities and colleges will be launched in June 2011. Known as Janet 3G, the service will be provided by communications company aql, and has been developed to provide a range of …
"Communications minister Ed Vaizey said: "I am delighted that the education sector is putting in place plans to provide wireless broadband for the academic community.
"This is a really exciting development and will help us achieve our goal of having the best broadband in Europe by 2015."
Sounds like he really means "I don't have fucking clue what you are on about but keep up the good work, it may keep me in Westminster"
And what it has to do with 'best broadband in Europe' I really don't know - apart from being a good indicator he doesn't know much. What does 'best broadband in Europe' have to do with the latest incarnation of a separate network that most folks don't know exists?.
Reinventing the wheel
So they've managed to strike a deal with one of the national mobile operators and get some sim cards and dongles out of them. What's the big deal? I would be curious which one of the 3G networks they are piggy-backing on. If it's O2, good luck with that.
three by the looks of it
If it keeps costs down and helps them get access to journals and research 'behind the firewall' it's not a bad idea.
It's the magic number
According to this document, looks like it's Three
3 apparently. Either that, or 3 have managed to get their logo and branding associated with the launch announcement!
But I agree about O2, only marginally better (by all accounts) than Vodafone, whose coverage here (large city) is shockingly bad - GPRS and Edge only if you're lucky. A couple of pockets of 3G if the wind is blowing the right way and you stand on one leg.
Essentially it's just a group bargaining deal with one or more existing mobile networks. If the negotiated tariffs are made public, then it gives the rest of us a bargaining chip when haggling with the networks. "Hey you gave my local university a £3/month deal, surely you can do something similar for me?" Failing that, tap up a pal with a .ac.uk email address.
@which one of the 3G networks
Says it's 3.
Could be useful...
But 3G is really a last resort if you want to download pdfs of journal articles etc.
We use a VPN over wi-fi here and that works really well and doesn't require a SIM to work with my phone, iPad or laptop.
And as this is an extension of the eduroam network, it's only of use when you're not at an eduroam site - practically all Universities and research institutes are.
El Reg strapline opportunity
Just wait for the "wardrobe malfunction" gags when this inevitably goes (ahem) tits-up...
what a load of buzzwords
so they've bulk bought a shitload of 3g sim cards from 3 , and paid an intermidiate company to do it, no doubt through the nose .
And now they are all gonna give up their nice fast Cat5 wires and their 802.11's be half as productive
"providing high quality connectivity both on and off campus." yeah right
The most annoying thing about this is that its 90% taxpayers money funding these schools and colleges.
This whole thing probly got the go ahead because someone up high thought no further than 'wires are ugly and this will solve the problem.'
Re: what a load of buzzwords
No-one's giving up on CAT5 to the desktop. As I_am_Chris pointed out, most of us have decent wifi coverage and access to eduroam already, so it's the off-campus access which will be the main benefit.
Please tell me where the article says *any* of what you say will happen.
It doesn't say anything about giving up either WiFi or Cat5. TBH, I'd be staggered if they did. Most Unis (including the one I work in ) have invested a lot of money ensuring as many rooms and building as need Cat 5 have it.
Not only that, but how would 3 cope if they suddenly had *thousands* of extra users in each area with a University? Not well, I'd wager. For instance, on our campus, not including the servers, there is probably nearly 2,000 computers.. I suspect our local 3 cell would fall over under that kind of load.
No, what this system is probably for is for professors and lecturers who may be working off site (whether at home or consulting for an outside company) to have easy access to University resources. If they are working on a research project with an outside company, they could be bringing in heavy profits to the Uni.
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