IT transformation at Clare Hall

Clare Hall has developed a brand new IT network which has resulted in high-speed connectivity across the college. The project was carried out in collaboration with UIS (University Information Services) Networks Division after they launched an initiative to share its IT expertise with Cambridge colleges last year.  Clare Hall was one of the first to take advantage of the collaboration. The College's IT infrastructure was replaced in the project, which has resulted in much faster network connections, and extensive wireless connectivity.  The joint initiative involved UIS assessing Colleges’ existing IT capabilities to understand where investment was needed to improve systems.

Jane Phelps, Clare Hall Domestic Bursar, explained how the project came about: “We needed to improve the network services in order to provide a first-class IT resource for members. However, the size of the project was daunting.”

Clare Hall was keen to use expert advice to ensure that the significant investment in IT offered full value for money. Jane added: “UIS has extensive network knowledge and experience of working with contractors on similar projects in faculties and departments.”

Personnel from Clare Hall Estates & Maintenance teams, UIS Networks, Network Installations and Wireless teams all worked together on the project. Ben Watkins, Clare Hall IT Manager, lead the project on behalf of the College and explained what improvements had been made: “The entire college network infrastructure has been replaced, giving us modern fibre optic connections to all buildings and new super-fast copper connections in the offices.

Ben added there was now ubiquitous eduroam wireless coverage across the college estate, "including some of the gardens and outside spaces.”

Gary Arber, Network Infrastructure Project Co-ordinator at UIS, added: “I’d like to offer my thanks to everyone involved in the project. With particular thanks to the entire team at Clare Hall, who were a pleasure to work with.” 

Mike Smale of Fibrenex Communications Ltd who installed the new fibre and copper cabling infrastructure also acknowledged the help received from the UIS teams involved, saying: "They were professional, knowledgeable and clearly dedicated to providing the best solution available to Clare Hall".   

The College is extremely proud of this project which will secure our IT network for at least the next 20 years or more.

Pictured (L-R): Ritchie Carter - GBN Manager, Alexander Cox - Wireless Manager, Guy Goodrick - Network Systems Officer, Richard Pettit - Network Systems Officer, Jon Holgate - Head of Network Division, Richard Davies - GBN, Pasha Ignatovich - Data Cabling Engineer, Sam Ludford - Wireless Engineer, James Whitby - Senior Data Cabling Engineer, Mike Smale - Head of Data Cabling, Adam Newson - Wireless Engineer, Dan Sayle - Institution Support, Jane Phelps - Domestic Bursar, Tim Cottage - Estates Manager, Ben Watkins - Institution Support, Gary Arber - Network Infrastructure Project Coordinator.