In late spring of 2022, the Office of Information Technology (OIT) initiated a project to upgrade state agencies’ wireless access points (WAPs) across the Montgomery campus. The primary focus of OIT’s Wireless Migration Project consists of replacing all end-of-life Cisco WAPs currently in use by the agencies with new Meraki units.

With the deployment of the new Meraki WAPs, the wireless local area network (WLAN) can support the newest Wi-Fi standard as defined by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). This standard, known as Wi-Fi 6, allows for the support of more clients in dense environments and provides better overall performance when using high-demand applications. In short, this equates to a significantly enhanced user experience for those accessing the internet and state resources via a wireless device.

The first phase of the Wireless Migration Project required that surveys be conducted throughout every Montgomery-based state building and floor in order to mark the locations of existing WAPs and to determine the wireless coverage currently being provided by those units. While some surveys are still underway, the majority have been completed to date. This has made it possible to establish a wireless coverage baseline and has enabled OIT to make projections regarding the anticipated coverage that will be provided by the new Meraki WAPs.

After gathering all of the necessary information (per individual agency), a report is then compiled and sent to a point of contact within each agency. Included in this report is a general overview of the OIT Wireless Migration Project as well as agency-specific information such as how many outdated WAPs they currently have in use, OIT’s recommendation for replacement of these units with new Meraki WAPs, and any associated Fiscal Year 2023 billing figures related to their utilization of this service.

Once OIT receives feedback and approval from an agency, the new Meraki units are then installed and activated. The Wireless Migration Project has progressed well over the summer months and agency responses have been overwhelmingly positive. OIT is actively working to complete all work on this project as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Upon completion, the Montgomery campus’ WLAN will be greatly improved and more secure for the numerous Alabama state agencies that depend on this vital service in order to carry out their daily work and serve the great citizens of our state.