Students recently reported problems with frequent Wi-Fi failure, sometimes for several minutes at a time.
“The Wi-Fi in Cokes is terrible,” said Jordan Dorsey, acting junior. “It’s gotten to the point where I have to go somewhere else to do my homework because my laptop won’t connect.”
There are many causes for interrupted Wi-Fi service on campus, said Gerry Hunt, chief information officer.
Interruptions can be caused by:
- Rogue wireless antennas, including all unauthorized wireless routers that can compete or interfere with the university wireless network. Only wireless antennas approved by Campus Technology Services are allowed to operate on campus.
- Devices that broadcast their own wireless signal that can directly compete with the university wireless network. Any devices capable of broadcasting their own wireless network can be configured to disable this functionality.
- Appliances like microwave ovens can emit frequencies while in operation that can also disrupt wireless network signals.
- Obstructions between an antenna and the location of the mobile device. Mirrors, metal filing cabinets and other furnishings can sometimes weaken or completely block a signal from an antenna. This can be fixed by relocating the blocked antenna, adding a new antenna or moving the obstructive object.
- Misconfigured or problematic mobile devices. Sometimes when a student or employee reports inconsistent wireless connectivity, Campus Technology officials trace the problem back to the device that person is using. In these situations, the problem has to be resolved at the end of the user’s device.
“Wireless is a priority to Campus Technology Services,” Hunt said. “We are constantly monitoring, evaluating and updating wireless services throughout campus.”
Campus Tech officials recently made some Wi-Fi improvements. These include:
- Walker Hall’s antenna count was increased from three per floor to nine per floor.
- Banning Hall’s network lines that support the wireless network were upgraded, and the antenna count increased from five to 10.
- A project in Methodist Hall is currently being concluded where antennas are being upgraded and five additional antennas per floor are being added.
- The back end wireless controllers have been upgraded and enhanced over the last two years, providing upgraded monitoring and improved wireless connectivity options for the wide array of devices constantly introduced to campus.
- Antennas are regularly upgraded throughout campus as newer models are introduced with features Campus Tech officials determine are beneficial to wireless services.
“I hear other students complaining about the Wi-Fi every day, not even exaggerating,” Dorsey said.
Campus Tech encourages students to contact the help desk when they have issues, Hunt said.
“While we have many automated systems in place to monitor our wireless services, we also rely on feedback from users of these services to help notify us of areas on campus that may be experiencing issues,” he said.
“Contacting the help desk with crucial information such as details of the issue being experienced, the location on campus the problem is occurring and the type of device experiencing the problem is very beneficial in diagnosing a wireless issue and developing a remedy.”
Students can more information on Campus Tech here.