Students might inadvertently be negatively affecting the wireless signal on campus by trying to improve it.
Gerry Hunt, Campus Technology Services chief information officer, said “rogue devices” can compete with the wireless signal.
“When a student brings their wireless modem from home, plugs it into our network and starts broadcasting out a signal, it’s directly competing with the wireless signal we’re trying to provide,” he said.
Things that can interfere with the wireless signal include:
- modems or routers from home,
- posters or signs with mirror or metallic backings, and
- any device that broadcasts its own wireless signal, like certain printers.
Students should turn off wireless capabilities for any device that broadcasts its own signal, Hunt said.
“I’m not talking about ones that you can connect to wireless, those are okay. But there are some that have their own built-in antenna, so they’re broadcasting their own wireless network,” he said.
Students are restricted from bringing their own network devices, according to the university’s computer usage policy.
In situations where students have wall decor with mirror or metallic backs, campus tech workers could move the antenna closest to the dorm room a few feet or recommend that students move their decor to another wall, Hunt said. Students must contact campus tech or submit a work order first, though.
Onnika Hanson, acting junior, said she switches from Wi-Fi to data if the wireless signal is not working.
“If I don’t have any left, I usually end up just waiting until the Wi-Fi comes back up to do my work, which usually just results in me staying up very late to do my work,” Hanson said.
Hanson said she has never submitted a work order or contacted campus tech because she knows people who have and doesn’t think much gets done.
“We receive emails about how they’re going to fix it, but then nothing seems to change,” she said.
Despite the additional antennas, Hunt said they are never done improving Wi-Fi on campus.
“Wireless is not a convenience, it’s an expectation, just like running water and electricity,” he said. “We are going to constantly work to provide the best and safest wireless network that we can with the resources we have available.”