Customer Spotlight

Kirkwood Community College

TECHNOLOGIES: Two-Way Communications


Founded in 1966, Kirkwood Community College provides education to 25,000+ students through its college credit classes, and another 41,000 people in its continuing education and training programs. The campus sits on 885 acres and features 27 buildings with 1.65 million square feet of learning space. As part of its 120 academic programs, it also has a campus healthcare simulation center, equestrian facility, and luxury teaching hotel.

Customer Needs

As part of several communications improvements happening across campus, Kirkwood wanted to advance its two-way radio system. The college needed a solution that would allow communication across the metro area, as well as within buildings on campus, including the teaching hotel and basement areas. Staff members also wanted to be able to use the system to communicate between its Cedar Rapids and Iowa City campuses. They were looking for a VoIP solution that offered good coverage and channelization so users were not talking over each other. As part of the project, Kirkwood also needed to make sure its radio system was ready for the FCC narrowbanding mandates of 2013.


CEC designed and implemented a flexible two-way communications solution to meet the college’s requirements, specifications, and future growth. After partnering with CEC, Kirkwood has:

  • A two-way digital radio solution that will grow with the organization. The system offers several features – some are being used now, and others will be used in the future when they are needed.
  • Separate channels for different aspects of the teaching hotel; the front desk, admin, and banquets departments have private channels to ensure that no one is talking over anyone else.
  • Radio connectivity over VoIP that allows for integrated voice and data communication, increased capacity, exceptional voice quality, and extended battery performance. 
  • Two-way communications coverage between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids locations, allowing staff to share voice and data applications across geographically separate sites.

We envisioned a two-way radio system that could do a lot, but we wanted to start basic. CEC designed a full-featured system that really delivered on that capability. I always like to see how vendors respond to challenges, and CEC took care of anything that came up. They kept it on their radar and documented it.

Mark Zuber Telecommunications Specialist, Kirkwood Community College
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