UT Shows Students How to “Get Unwired”

KNOXVILLE — University of Tennessee students will get a peek at the future of college connectivity Wednesday when UT computer systems officials sponsor “Get Unwired Day.”

The event will introduce students to the wireless environment they will encounter on campus next year, said Ashley Jarrell, manager of customer technology support in UT’s Division of Information Infrastructure. It will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in Room 226 at the University Center.

“We are going to demonstrate wireless in action,” Jarrell said.

The university plans to have a wireless network in every academic building this fall, said Philippe Hanset, manager of the wireless project. Hodges Library, the Art and Architecture Building, the recently renovated Claxton Hall and Glocker are among eight buildings on campus where the technology has already been installed.

Phase two will include wireless technology for the commons areas in UT residence halls. UT dorm rooms already have hard-wired connections to the campus.

“Students will be able to sit outside their classroom or in Hodges Library and connect without wires to check e-mail or do research on the Web,” Jarrell said. “The new system should be a real boon to commuter students, who can’t go back to the dorm to log on.”

Hanset said laptops and personal digital assistants with a wireless card can connect to the Internet without plugging a phone line into the wall.

“Wireless is not a replacement for hard-wired connections to the network. It’s a complement,” he said. “It gives students freedom of movement.”

At the event, Dell will showcase laptop computers that can access the wireless network, as well as desktop computers. Dell representatives will also explain the purchase agreement the company has with UT for students and faculty.