Wi-fi Plans Make Campus a Hotspot

Matthew Gromala, Reporter

Campus officials say they plan to add Wi-fi access points across campus.

Existing access points can only handle so many devices before they become overloaded, and they are getting overloaded, said Kelly Philips, network technician.

Under this new plan, the number of access points will increase on a yearly basis, thereby easing access to the internet. Officials said a precise number of points is undetermined, but they will increase each year based upon need.

The new points will have the two-fold effect of speeding up connection time and creating Web accessible spots.

The Technology Department is adding the Wi-fi points because the number of devices used by students and faculty can slow down internet speed, and even prevent access at times. This causes problems that students assume are “dead spots” when they are not, said Phillips.

“Some of the areas that will be targeted first when the new access points are deployed are Passan Hall and areas within Mercy Hall that have several classrooms in one area. As for residential areas, the townhouses are first on the list for additional access points.” said Phillips

Students have to do their part, too, by limiting the number of devices they use. “Each individual student can have, especially in their dorm room, up to seven devices,” said Phillips.

Currently, each building on upper and lower campus has Wi-fi points, but these have proven to not be enough.

The plan will include both residence halls and houses. Phil- lips said IT staffers will target classrooms as well, because those are heavily used spots with many people on the internet with at

least one device. IT staffers say they are receiving fewer connection complaints as they have in years past.

“I do know in the fall there were more, but we did a lot of integration changes over Thanksgiving and Christmas break, and since then we haven’t had really anything brought to my attention,” said Phillips.

There are not really any “dead spots” on campus. Phillips said Wi-fi is not available in many areas outside of campus buildings but “nowhere inside,” he said.

So while some students and faculty may experience slow speed, or may not always be able to get on the internet, the problem is too many people on too many devices trying to access the internet at the same time.

“So every access point can only handle so many devices and give you a good signal. So if they’re overloaded, say I walk in and I have two iPhones, a laptop and an iPad. I’m four devices to one person, and there are thirty of me in a room.” said Phillips.

The reaction from students is favorable. “I think the Wi-fi works pretty well. But if they want to add more, be my guest,” said first year accounting major Alex Reyes.

First year Quentin Smith agreed. “I haven’t ever really had any problems with it, but more points can only be better, right?”

Now and in the foreseeable future, connecting to the Web should not be too much of a problem, Phillips said.

“While we will continue to increase the number of wireless devices we can support on campus I am confident that our current wireless network is more than sufficient to handle the current students and their devices.”

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