TTGroup delivers mesh network to QLD college

Queensland-based integrator, TTGroup Communications, is rolling out a Nortel mesh network for Brisbane private school, Sheldon College. The technology overhaul is part of an ongoing outsourcing contract.

CEO, Bob Bishop, said the college decided to overhaul its entire wired and wireless network after maxing out its current operational and physical infrastructure.

It had historically purchased IT equipment from an array of suppliers and vendors which, he said, resulted in a chaotic mix of devices.

As well as catering for 1600 students and 180 faculty members, it maintains several technology intensive labs for music, design and R&D.

TTGroup became Sheldon College's IT arm under a managed services agreement two years ago. Once the decision had been made to upgrade its network infrastructure, the pair had gone to tender for a vendor. TTGroup is a Nortel nPower accredited channel partner.

"We wanted something that was devoid of any incompatibility. We avoided Cisco for that reason," Bishop said. "The specifications were tight in all areas, particularly in terms of onsite and backup services. Nortel proved supportive of these."

The rollout consists of a 10 gigabit network based on Nortel's Ethernet Routing Switch 5530 and 5520s at the edge. It is also currently deploying three of the 20 proposed WLAN access points across the campus as part of a wireless mesh solution. TTGroup has provided design, implementation, support and training services.

The next stage will see the integrator install a wireless IP-based security surveillance system.

Bishop said it would also implement an IP-based telephony network in the next 12 months.

While the deal wasn't its largest financially, he said it was the first time TTGroup had adopted a managed services approach.

"The managed services model works very well in schools and colleges. There's no need for the college to be involved in areas they don't have expertise in," Bishop said. "For a fixed monthly fee we can actually save them money.

"I think we've got a blueprint in place now. We're ready to roll it out to the market."

TTGroup's customers include Townsville General Hospital, the University of Central Queensland and Queensland Government House.