See also:CIO Profile: Greenwich University's Alan Broadaway on campus infrastructureCIO Profile: Greenwich Uni's Alan Broadaway on public sector politics\nThe Royal Naval College in Greenwich has got to be one of the most pictur\u00adesque places to work in London. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, it houses one of the sites of the University of Greenwich, whose recently-departed head of IT Alan Broadaway is himself a man with a long history, although not quite so long as this waterfront building.\nAt the same time as many CIOs in office today were experimenting with computing as schoolchildren or undergraduates, Broadaway was building systems for electricity generating grids and oil rigs.\nUntil his departure from the role shortly\u00ad after we met late last year, Broadaway\u2019s primary concern was the infrastructure that supports the university\u2019s three sites: the main campus in Greenwich, a second 10 miles further south in Eltham and a third in Chatham, close to where the river Medway runs into the Thames.\nMany of the college\u2019s 18,000 undergraduates are the first in their family to take a degree course. Widening access into higher education is a deliberate policy of vice chancellor Baroness Blackstone and so its mission statement involves the care of its students, who may be totally unfamiliar with the university environment. Many students are from overseas.\n\u201cIt can be a bit daunting and there is a whole range of support mechanisms in place for students,\u201d says Broadaway. \u201cWhat we look to do within IT is to provide as good an experience as you can get within the constraints of our funding.\u201d\n\nNumbers gameAs with most higher education bodies,\u00ad Greenwich is dependent on revenues that are closely tied to student numbers. Now they have to pay their own tuition fees, students are becoming more selective about where they go.\nAt the same time, they are very aware of the technology that will help them in their studies, so the demands on universities to keep their IT services as up-to-date as they can are very high.\nLow availability for internet connection will prompt students to complain to their friends back home, who will be less likely to apply to that college when their turn comes.\nAt Greenwich, many of the students are still working to pay for their education, exposing them to the levels of IT accessibility expected as normal in the private sector which the university then has to match.\nBroadaway has many years\u2019 experience in delivering strong infrastructure services\u00ad across a campus and arrived in 2006 with a remit to integrate a number of systems and make communications more readily available to students and lecturers alike.\n\u201cI\u2019m linking all the buildings, all the rooms together with a high-speed, reliable and secure network. We\u2019ve achieved that and the next thing to do is to build the \u00adapplications on top of that,\u201d he says.\nOne thing students demand is the availability of wireless networks to feed their own high-bandwidth devices. This caused Broadaway to concentrate on the university\u2019s wireless network infrastructure over the last 12 months and make sure it was robust and reliable.\nIt\u2019s all about 24-hour accessibility, vital when a significant proportion of students\u2019 homes are in different time zones across the world and they are using the college\u2019s network to contact family and friends.\nAt the other end of the scale, Broad\u00adaway had to serve specialist academic requirements that demand high-bandwidth connectivity. The university is heavily involved in fire safety research, where computer modelling is so much safer than conducting experiments with real fire. Broadaway implemented a completely separate network to support this and other research so that it didn\u2019t get swamped by the day-to-day \u00addemands of undergraduates.\nIt was a grand scheme considering the meagre funding opportunities at the mom\u00adent and Broadaway admits that one of his tasks was to make those difficult choices about where investments are made.\nHeritage permissionsAlthough the Greenwich campus carries a lot of cachet because of its history, it also presents a problem as a heritage site. Any IT projects that affect the physical fabric of a building that dates back to 1696 have to be squared with the owner, English Heritage.\nBroadaway would make sure the owner is consulted well in advance of any work, but English Heritage did expect him to stick strictly to his plans.\n\u201cYou have to do what you say you are going to do. If you deviate at all, it can have drastic penalties,\u201d he says.