IT tackles spotty wireless Internet service in University Housing

NKU did not always have wireless Internet access in every room in every building on campus. It wasn’t until the summer of 2009 that University Housing partnered with the Office of Information Technology (IT) to have something done about this. Following this, every dorm received wireless Internet access their room for free.

The student body, however, has had many complaints concerning the wireless Internet access in the dorms. The problem: students need the Internet at the exact same time everyone else needs it. Whether it is a project, checking their e-mail or completing an assignment before class, students constantly have an excessive need for the Internet. According to SGA Secretary for Public Relations Mike Johnson, the university is now requiring professors to convert to using Blackboard more frequently than they have in the past.

“A lot more students are taking online classes and they have videos necessary for the course and [those materials] don’t load on the computer. On campus it’s not a problem, but the buildings close at midnight and the Student Union closes at 11. This has an impact on work getting done when students work well into midnight.”

Everyone wants a solution to this problem; it has become a common issue among the entire student body. The Student Government Association (SGA) is completely with housing to have this system fixed among the dorms. In 2007 and 2009, the SGA talked with IT for resolutions to actually get wireless Internet access in dorms, and they were willing to work with them to make this happen.

Johnson believes that because Residential Housing Association (RHA) is a counterpart in this issue, once it is brought to their attention by the student body, it will be fixed.

Housing has once again partnered with IT to make this problem go away. As of right now, they have 35 additional wireless access points on order. Once these devices come to NKU, they will immediately be installed throughout the Residential Village by a team.

As said by Director of Housing Peter Trentacoste, “We believe this addition of 35 wireless access points to the ones already in place will greatly improve the reliability of wireless signals found in students rooms.”

In addition to these 35 wireless access points, according to Doug Wells, Director of Infrastructure, there has been a total of 120 access points ordered. Out of that total number, 100 have already arrived to NKU, and a team is setting them up currently. Installation began in the Student Union and will move to the dorms after it is complete. The problem is being fixed sooner than anyone thought.

“About five or six access points are being installed each day. Once everything is set up, it only takes about 10 minutes,” Wells said.

IT made a student survey concerning wireless coverage to discover poor wireless spots and help students to acquire an efficient Internet access.

They plan on doing this once a year to get students’ feedback so that they are able to better the wireless connection for the student body each year.

Story by Danielle Wesley