CUIMC Wi-Fi is Getting an Upgrade
Wi-Fi on campus at Columbia University Irving Medical Center is getting an upgrade from CUIMC IT. The Medical Grade Network project, with support from all four CUIMC schools, is a multi-year program to upgrade network infrastructure. So far, the team has installed new Wi-Fi in Haven Towers 1, 2, and 3, the Black Building, the Allan Rosenfield Building, and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons building floors 8, 9, and 12.
"This is one great example of the work we are doing at CUIMC IT to ensure our employees, students, faculty, and research staff have the support they need to excel in their work,” says Jim Bossio, interim chief information officer at CUIMC. “We are proud to support our institution by not only replacing our aging infrastructure but also developing and implementing a new network specifically designed to meet the needs of our clinical, research, and academic missions.”
The project began during the COVID-19 pandemic, when it was noted that much of the existing Wi-Fi infrastructure was several years past its practical lifespan, resulting in increasingly unreliable service. The upgrades will bring more reliable and wider coverage of Wi-Fi, including Mercury, guest-net, VOICE, and Priv-PSK, across the medical center campus, in addition to improving security.
Connectivity issues may have led some users to set up unauthorized switches or access points, which can compromise network security, leaving sensitive data vulnerable and exposed. The MGN upgrade initiative eliminates the need for unauthorized measures by enhancing wireless coverage, reaching previously underserved buildings and ensuring consistent, high-quality connectivity. This expansion reduces the risks associated with unauthorized network devices, which can be entry points for security breaches.
CUIMC IT will continue to scan for unregulated network devices installed by users and encourage reliance on the protected network to stay connected securely and effortlessly.
Upgrading building Wi-Fi is a multi-step process, involving floor-by-floor surveys of existing space, upgrades of cables and power, installation of wireless access points, and service provisioning through automation. The bulk of the work is being done by a small team of five to six CUIMC IT employees, with the help of outside vendors and support from the CUIMC IT project management office and CUIMC IT finance and administration.
The project’s next priority is the Hammer Health Sciences Center, where the teams have begun assessments to determine power and hardware needs. Hammer will be followed by 390 Fort Washington Avenue.
Learn more about the Medical Grade Network project.