Print 24 comment(s) - last by aqwan135.. on Dec 20 at 8:10 PM

Installation could take three years

The IT infrastructure of many U.S. government institutions is lacking and is set for an overhaul under President Obama. The need for IT and security is highest in the government where potential security breaches could harm the safety of the country and our armed forces.

The House of Representatives announced today that it would soon install a Wi-Fi network inside the sprawling 505,000 square foot multi-building campus. The installation of the wireless network is expected to take as long as three years and may begin as soon as January. One House spokesman hinted that the installation of the wireless network could be completed more quickly, but no firm timeline was given.

The wireless network will use 802.11n reports InformationWeek and will be installed to start with in cafeterias and eventually spread to cover member's offices, hearing rooms, and other locations within the building. Setting up a wireless network in such a large campus, with walls made of marble will be a challenge.

The House also expects the network to be very robust with enhanced security. The contractor who installs the network will be required to integrate network security and management tools into the network and eventually maintain the network. One key specification is that the network needs to be able to locate rogue access points and users.

The network will be used for internet connectivity, VoIP, and location-based applications. Currently there is little coverage for Wi-Fi on the House campus with most using 3G access reports InformationWeek.

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By aebiv on 12/17/2009 11:28:24 AM , Rating: 5
My question is, why on earth would this take 3 years?

And how much is this going to cost us?

Spending money on things is a lot easier when it isn't yours.

RE: Hrm
By AnotherGuy on 12/17/2009 11:44:18 AM , Rating: 2
crazy money was being spent for private companies to keep em alive... y not invest a little on something that will do some good to our government... might as well

RE: Hrm
By stubeck on 12/17/2009 11:54:28 AM , Rating: 2
Planning for security and other factors. It took my company 5 months to institute a new signature file for employees, 3 years with proper planning seems like a reasonable amount of time.

RE: Hrm
By Mk4ever on 12/17/2009 12:05:47 PM , Rating: 2
Not that I'm opposed to technology, but why would they need n instead of g or a/b?

Do they exchange a lot of porn?

RE: Hrm
By Shining Arcanine on 12/17/2009 12:28:24 PM , Rating: 5
They need n so that it will not be obsolete by the time they are using it.

RE: Hrm
By amanojaku on 12/17/2009 12:39:46 PM , Rating: 5
I'm pretty sure it has to do with the difference in range and scalability. N has nearly twice the range as b/g, and 4x the MIMO streams. Using N could mean a lower number of routers and/or repeaters for the same number of users.

RE: Hrm
By 67STANG on 12/17/2009 4:24:14 PM , Rating: 1
Let's not forget, that N access points cost more too. This is the government, after all.

Seriously though, what's preventing war drivers from driving by there with 12dbi yagi and seeing what they can pick up with airsnort, etc.? Shouldn't take too long to sniff out enough packets with how many their going to be sending.

RE: Hrm
By HrilL on 12/17/2009 5:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
If they were smart they would be using SSL encryption inside of normal WPA2 encryption. Sonicwall does this for added security. I wonder what company is rolling out their network?

RE: Hrm
By HrilL on 12/17/2009 5:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
N offers better coverage overall. Actually gets some decent throughput. Like 50-60Mb/s It operates at both 2.4ghz and 5ghz. Has better distance. Why would you build an infrastructure out that will take 3 years to complete with out of date tech? Lot of reasons why they would go with N and not A, G, Or B.

RE: Hrm
By aqwan135 on 12/20/09, Rating: 0
By TheNuts on 12/17/2009 1:31:03 PM , Rating: 5
will be the passphrase to get onto their network

...I've got the same combination on my luggage!

RE: 1-2-3-4-5
By muhahaaha on 12/17/2009 2:41:06 PM , Rating: 2
you had the same combination on my new luggage

RE: 1-2-3-4-5
By TheNuts on 12/17/2009 10:12:16 PM , Rating: 3
I'll ask Mel Brooks to change the script per your suggestion

RE: 1-2-3-4-5
By bobcpg on 12/17/2009 2:44:24 PM , Rating: 2
Spaceballs reference? If so, good job :)

RE: 1-2-3-4-5
By TheNuts on 12/17/2009 10:10:13 PM , Rating: 2
Nice catch :)

What a waste.
By MatthiasF on 12/17/2009 11:05:45 AM , Rating: 1
If they have 3G coverage now why not just mandate a 802.16 WMAN over the same cell towers being used for the 3G? The signal should have similar penetration and in regions it doesn't they can build more access points or use multihop repeaters.

WiMAX > 802.11N

RE: What a waste.
By HighWing on 12/17/2009 11:25:01 AM , Rating: 5
I would imagine one reason is security. The other being that a local network is just that... local! It would be silly to make people go out over a public cell network to then log back into their local network to get access to resources, not to mention the increased security it would call for.

WiMax is not the same as WiFi as there is more to a network then just Internet access.

After three years...
By bravacentauri83 on 12/17/2009 11:22:38 AM , Rating: 2
...we will already have a new wireless standard.

RE: After three years...
By stubeck on 12/17/2009 11:53:19 AM , Rating: 2
And yet people still use 802.11a/b/g today with 802.11n out there. Just because its not the newest doesn't mean its not going to work.

RE: After three years...
By Fox5 on 12/17/2009 1:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
You can't have very many simultaneous clients on b or g before the signal fails.

Hopefully they're doing dual band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz N. 2.4Ghz purely for backwards compatibility, and 5Ghz to handle the bulk of the connections.

By n0ebert on 12/17/2009 10:52:11 AM , Rating: 2
It's nice to see they're finally coming into the 21st century with technology, but I can't see a wireless network for them as a good thing. I still remember 'the internet is a series of tubes' speech. Although I'm sure there will be oodles of security, nothing is 100% secure and a wireless network is far from the best idea.

Although it will be funny when the first hacker to break into the network finds all the porn they've been looking at instead of listening to bill proposals.

RE: ehh..
By Einy0 on 12/17/2009 6:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
In this case I think I'd have to agree. Too much sensitive data flowing around to allow wireless... Now on the other hand if it was meant for non-government related web and file sharing use then who cares... I have no problems with the Obama family getting on some WoW time... lol...

By TheEinstein on 12/18/2009 9:28:12 AM , Rating: 2
Wireless huh? I know hackers who would love to tap that network from a listen only approach. The Dems would be shocked that their security would not be as good as they thought, and voila, another -gate would happen for sure!

Failure is on the horizon...
By bob4432 on 12/20/2009 7:59:09 PM , Rating: 2
how do they really think they can pull this off w/out failing. i know even wpa2 w/ ssl would be hard to break, but look at what people would be breaking it for, so i am sure it will be broken quickly, probably in the first 6mos if they implement it correctly, but i am sure somebody will hook up their own ap and be the office "super IT guy" and leave it wide open only to have everything they do sniffed by the chinese, russians, hell w/ this setup a passerby will be breaking information more than the enquire and tmz combined w/ real proof.

if they didn't even encrypt the video transmission on the uavs when they knew sensitive video would be tranmitted and people in bosnia/iraq/afghanistan could watch real time our mil doing their jobs, well i really don't have hope for this. they should just run copper and keep it out of the air and much safer/simplier and then do the sweeps for aps just in case.

and this will probably cost a cool $50M - it is washington and they love to spend money, and i am sure they will buy crap gear for well over msrp, thats just how they work - and will call it a job creating project

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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