Part II CANADIAN CASE STUDY: Wi- Fi in Canada: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Or handhelds. The return signal from user devices is More than two- thirds of Canadians are
connected to the Internet today.
About 15 percent of Canadians, or 23 percent of those Canadians connected to the Internet,
use wireless fidelity, one of the newer standards for telecommunication.
As detailed in Chapter 8, IEEE standard 802.11 governs wireless networking, with three sub-
standards, a, b, and g.
802.11a is not compatible with either 802.11b or 802.11g, but the latter two are compatible with
The 802.11b standard has been the most widely used standard for creating wireless LANs and
providing wireless Internet access.
However, 802.11g may become more popular in the next few years, and dual- band systems
capable of handling 802.11b and 802.11g are expected to proliferate.
Today most computers are sold with 802.11b or 802.11g networking capability built in, either
through a wireless networking card or more recently, with a wireless chip on the motherboard
that holds the processing and RAM chips.
How are Canadian businesses and individuals using Wi-Fi? What are the challenges of
implementing and using Wi-Fi?
THE GOOD Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care, headquartered in Toronto, uses Wi-Fi to
support its voice for nurse call system, supporting hundreds of concurrent users.
Voice for nurse systems permit nurses to communicate from wherever they are in the hospital
through a device that they wear.
Services such as bedside charting, monitoring, and order entry are carried out using 50
wireless- enabled computers- on- wheels (COWs) to access Baycrest’s Meditech System.
The doctors, nurses, and administrators needed a single wireless network over which they could
transmit voice and data, simply and cost effectively.
IT staff were paid $ 100 per hour, so keeping costs to a minimum, even after implementation,
was critical. Security, of course, was also a paramount concern.
The system would need to support a wide variety of wireless devices, from VoIP telephones to
laptop computers, hand-held personal digital assistants, and voice communication badges, the
device worn by the nurses.
Baycrest implemented a wireless LAN switching system that included a suite of wireless
applications. The system was relatively self-configuring, resulting in ease of use and easy