Western Plains Zoo has had a wireless local area network (WLAN) installed to improve staff mobility and increase access to information across its 788 hectares.
There are no plans as yet to give the koalas or wallabies access to the network.
Sydney-based tier-one reseller, ComputerCORP, was responsible for implementing the Avaya-based solution. It includes an AP3 access point in the administration building and a central outdoor router linked to seven locations around the site.
ComputerCORP technical services manager, Leslie Barrett, said Avaya beat off competition from Cisco in the tendering process.
He said the installation took just under two weeks.
The company designed and implemented a solar-powered system on the giraffe shed roof to provide power to the Avaya COR and antenna because the building has no electricity.
Western Plains Zoo, located in Dubbo, will use the wireless network to support its upcoming point-of-sale (POS) system at a snack kiosk and Zoofari.
These remote locations will also have email and Web access for employees.
“We were looking for a way to connect all the facilities of the zoo without having to damage enclosures and habitats,” systems administrator for the Zoological Parks Board of NSW, John Inkson, said.
“The solution needed to support the new POS system, be adaptable to future needs and cause minimum disruption to the running of the zoo. Wireless was the answer.”
Barrett said the next step would be a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) installation during the next three months. This would provide laptop-toting visitors with 802.11b access to an intranet service.
“The ultimate ambition is to offer school groups and other guests the opportunity to access keeper talks and up-to-date information about exhibits,” Inkson said.