University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wireless Network Upgrade

Wireless networking on campus has continued to evolve at an accelerated pace with daily device connectivity during the semester peaking at ~65,000 devices daily.  The campus wireless network  comprises ~4,000 access points including housing in 2015 using 802.11n wireless network and a coverage model that delivered an accessible signal.  The need for robust campus wireless capable of delivering throughput and user density performance with 802.11ac wave 2 technology is now being deployed. 

By the end of this project, we estimated we would deploy 12,000-15,000 wireless access points across campus to improve wireless communication and offer the most current hardware to process this wireless traffic. We completed this project in Summer of 2021, and any remaining deployments will be part of regular operations.


# of access points complete: 9,871
# of access points remaining: 1,939

Updated quarterly; last update October 20, 2021

Project updates

Project team

  • Dennis Lange, Manager Campus Engineering 
  • Gary Northey, Manager Field Services 
  • Campus Engineering 
  • Field Services 
  • FP&M  

Project Timeline

High-Level Milestones

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Charter established and work began.

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Migration of buildings on a monthly basis. Approximately 160 buildings on campus with approximately 18 completed annually.

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Escalated plan for installation of 400+ access points per month.

Continued installation of access points in the most impactful and least intrusive locations.

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Estimated completion date.

Frequently Asked Questions

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When will my building be upgraded?

Buildings are upgraded based on several factors including student traffic volume, availability of FPM staffing and unique changes within a building (i.e. remodel or renovation).

Who to contact regarding this project?

Any questions about wireless services in your building can be routed through the DoIT Help Desk. They will record your questions/concerns and forward to the most appropriate group within Network Services.

Why is the wireless being upgraded?

The goal of Network Services is to deploy the most current wireless technology and offer the best possible wireless coverage across the UW-Madison Campus.

We want to hear from you

Questions about the Wireless Network Upgrade Project?

Email us for answers