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Indiana’s Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library Leverages Managed Wi-Fi Solution to Connect Its Community

Indiana’s Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library Leverages Managed Wi-Fi Solution to Connect Its Community

Customer Success Story

Located in Northern Indiana, Mishawaka-Penn-Harris Public Library (Mishawaka) is significantly strengthening its broadband and wireless infrastructure to meet its patrons’ growing digital needs and demands. In addition to increasing its WAN connections between the library’s main building and branch locations from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, the library also deployed ENA Air, ENA’s comprehensive managed Wi-Fi solution. The library’s patrons and staff are greatly enjoying their new enterprise-grade, high-speed Wi-Fi network and all the features and tools that come with the turnkey service.

Bruce Friedline, the library’s IT manager, has seen his library’s role in the community evolve tremendously over the last few years with the advent of new technologies. “Bandwidth has become very important for us because we have so many patrons bringing in their own devices,” says Friedline. “They rely on us to deliver reliable and robust Internet access.”

Managed Wi-Fi

Like many other libraries, Mishawaka has limited technology personnel at its disposal due to budget limitations. That is one of the primary reasons the library selected ENA Air. “When we decided to deploy a new wireless solution, we did a lot of research because it’s an important decision,” says Friedline. “ENA is our Internet service provider, and we love the company’s responsiveness and ability to resolve problems quickly. Choosing a managed Wi-Fi service was the perfect solution. ENA takes care of everything, and we get to enjoy the benefits.”

ENA Air’s flat-rate, upfront pricing was another draw for the library. “We appreciated that ENA came in, provided us with a detailed overview of their Wi-Fi service, and told us how much it was going to cost from day one. It was nice having that transparency from the very beginning.”


Seamless Transition and Excellent Coverage

The library has enjoyed a smooth transition to ENA Air. “We had a Wi-Fi service in place prior to ENA Air that we installed and managed ourselves,” says Friedline. “We didn’t have many access points and our coverage wasn’t great. With ENA, the installation was fantastic. Their engineers performed extensive heat map testing to ensure our access points were accurately placed, so now we have excellent coverage. We even have coverage in our parking lot now! When we are closed, people still come to the library and connect to our network from their cars.”

Because ENA only serves education and library communities, it possesses a keen understanding of the needs that exist within these unique environments and adapts its services to meet these needs. “Our overall deployment was seamless,” says Friedline. “ENA’s engineers were flexible and worked around our schedule. When they were on-site during the day, they made sure to conduct their testing and work in low-traffic areas to avoid disruptions.”

Data-Driven Decisions

Friedline and his team have enjoyed using ENA Air’s comprehensive reporting tools to monitor their patrons’ usage. “I look at our reports daily and track the number of log-ins,” says Friedline. “I aggregate the data monthly by branch location. That information gives us a handle on our usage and helps us with our future planning and decision-making. For example, the data we received from our ENA Air reporting tool drove the decision to increase our WAN connections between our buildings. I saw that we were bumping up against the ceiling in terms of access and that those numbers correlated with the complaints we were getting from our patrons. Everyone was trying to share the same small pipe, and it was causing problems. We just didn’t have enough bandwidth. That’s why our board made the decision to increase our WAN connections.”


Mishawaka is prepared for what the future holds in store. “We are fortunate that we have a supportive board that recognizes the need for infrastructure upgrades,” says Friedline. “It’s important that libraries don’t underestimate the value of reliable and robust Wi-Fi and bandwidth. We’ve taken the necessary steps to make our library future-ready because we want to expand the range of possibilities of what patrons can do in our library. We don’t have our entire roadmap in place yet, but we’ve positioned ourselves so that we can successfully support all the new wireless technologies our patrons are bringing into our library.”

For more information about ENA Air or ENA’s suite of tailored Wi-Fi/LAN services, visit https://www.ena.com/wifi-lan/.


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