Course Title: Determine best-fit topology for a wide area network

Part A: Course Overview

Program: C5341 Diploma of Information Technology

Course Title: Determine best-fit topology for a wide area network

Portfolio: BUS Portfolio Office

Nominal Hours: 20

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


650T Vocational Business Education

Face-to-Face or Workplace

Term1 2016,
Term2 2016,
Term1 2017,
Term2 2017,
Term1 2018,
Term2 2018,
Term1 2019

Course Contact: Val Christou

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5076

Course Contact Email:

Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to identify the best way computers and local area networks (LANs) can be connected to make a wide area network (WAN).

It applies to individuals with excellent planning and information and communications technology (ICT) skills in networking areas who are required to research and recommend the most appropriate topology for a WAN.

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


National Competency Codes and Titles

National Element Code & Title:

ICTNWK517 Determine best-fit topology for a wide area network


1. Identify WAN needs

2. Create WAN specification

Learning Outcomes

Overview of Assessment

In order to achieve competency in this unit, you must provide:

Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to:

  • consider budget constraints and business needs
  • identify the configuration for connecting a local area network (LAN), wireless local area network (WLAN) or virtual private network (VPN) into a wide area network (WAN)
  • document the configuration. 

Knowledge Evidence

To complete the unit requirements safely and effectively, you must:

summarise the typical network topologies for the following networks:

  • large and small LANs
  • WANs
  • VPNs
  • virtual local area networks (VLANs)
  • WLANs

identify and describe the typical components and technologies required for a WAN, including:

  • concepts and types of modems
  • internet protocol (IP) addressing
  • packet switching
  • routed or routable protocols, including IP, IPX and AppleTalk
  • router operations, including double data rate (DDR)
  • routing protocols, including routing information protocol (RIP), enhanced interior gateway routing protocol (EIGRP) and open shortest path first (OSPF)
  • transmission control protocols or internet protocols (TCPs/IPs)
  • relationship of asynchronous and synchronous communication
  • use of microwave and satellite communication in networking

describe the business consideration for establishing a WAN, including:

  • constraints and costs
  • features of telecommunications infrastructure, including the difference between digital and analogue networks
  • growth projections and capacity planning
  • high or low speed links
  • protocols
  • redundancy paths
  • response time and reliability requirements
  • scope of operation
  • security
  • traffic flow patterns
  • traffic load
  • users and the applications expected.

 Assessment Conditions

Assessment must be conducted in a safe environment where evidence gathered demonstrates consistent performance in conditions that are safe and replicate the workplace. Noise levels, production flow, interruptions and time variances must be typical of those experienced in the network industry, and include access to:

  • design documents relating to LANs to be incorporated into the WAN
  • equipment specifications
  • vendor product catalogues and costs.

You are advised that you are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate your assessment work to your teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.


Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions.  You are encouraged to ask and answer questions during class time and online sessions so that you can obtain feedback on your understanding of the concepts and issues being discussed. Finally, you can email or arrange an appointment with your teacher to gain more feedback on your progress.

You should take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve your learning outcomes and final performance in the course.