Wi-Fi upgrades planned for select South 40 dorms
Student Technology Services will be upgrading Wi-Fi in six residential halls over winter break.
The move, in response to student complaints, is part of a long-term plan to bring the entire Danforth Campus up to wustl-2.0, the school’s fastest wireless Internet provider.
Residents of Dardick, Nemerov, Lien, Gregg, Koenig and Liggett Houses will return in January to find wustl-2.0 as the primary network, as opposed to the wustl-1.0 that supports the rest of the South 40.
The new networking infrastructure, which is serviced by Cisco Systems, is faster than the equipment that runs wustl-1.0, which is provided by Meru Networks.
Sophomore David Lopez, the student technology coordinator in Brookings Residential College, said that there was one week this past semester when his residential college registered about 30 complaints to STS, and he hopes that the changes will improve the overall experience for all students.
STS Director Barb Braun said they are surveying additional buildings on campus to determine the engineering required for future wireless upgrades.
“We want the experience in the residential space to be the same as when you cross the street. Wireless is a commodity, a utility, and it should be the same experience,” Braun said.
The Student Technology Advisory Committee will work with students to assess the changes and monitor issues in the spring semester.
“In general, I would hear from people that they would have less issues with signal strength and more just issue with speed and consistency of speed, and that was a steady problem,” junior Gus Price, student technology coordinator in Liggett/Koenig Residential College, said.
“I’m sure a lot of the issues will be resolved. We’ve upgraded to wustl-2.0 in the [Olin] library, and the complaints in the library have gone down dramatically. I’m excited and happy and expecting the same thing to happen in Lien and Gregg,” Lopez said.
Students in the six buildings are initially receptive to the forthcoming changes and upgrades.
“I think it’s great because in my room, I’m going to have faster Wi-Fi, too. Hopefully, it’s going to save me a lot of time in my job,” Price said.
Freshman George Teslovich, a resident in Lien, said that he had some issues connecting to Wi-Fi in his room for a few weeks, and even after those were eventually resolved, he still sometimes struggles with speed and connectivity.
“I feel that [the upgrades] will solve all the problems that I had with Wi-Fi since I got here. Overall, I feel like STS does an excellent job with accommodating students’ needs,” Teslovich said.
Sophomore Logan Rogers, a resident in Nemerov, said that while she hasn’t had any major problems this year, she was excited to hear about the upgrade but will reserve judgment until she sees how big a difference it makes.
“The minor issues are things like having to re-log in after the Wi-Fi cuts out or not being able to load videos or sustain Skype calls. But who can complain about a better Internet connection?” Rogers said. “I hope that the upgrade can solve some of these problems, but I’m skeptical. There are a lot of people using the network, and that slows it down.”