IT Services plans to upgrade wi-fi network

By Kenny Knudsen
Staff Writer

Though more wi-fi accessible devices are being brought onto campus, the wi-fi strength seems to be decreasing.

Many students are having a hard time connecting their computers, phones, and tablets to the wifi in the dorms, townhouses, Latimer Student Center and Mercer. Sometimes devices fail connect to the wi-fi system or lose their connection. Some students have very limited connectivity based on where their dorm room is located.

“For the most part, it is pretty rough,” said Garrison Price, one of Woodlee-Ewing’s resident assistants. “There are spots in the building that have poor reception. Luckily, we have computers downstairs in case the wi-fi is being too slow to complete assignments.”

While the wi-fi access on campus is pretty much limited to the school buildings and residence halls, Bryan’s IT Services has taken steps in the right direction over the last few years. The wi-fi used to require users to log into each building’s wi-fi system separately, logging them out when they left the building.

In 2013, Bryan moved to a campus-wide wi-fi system that requires only one login and keeps users connected when they are within reach of a router.

Over the last few months, the IT Services team has replaced over one hundred wireless access points over the campus. This has provided optimum coverage throughout the campus. New equipment has given IT Services a better opportunity to provide more quality coverage around campus.

However, they have not stopped there. Not only are new access points being installed, but they are also updating the spectrum that they operate on. Bryan has been operating on a 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum channel for years. Over winter break, IT will add a 5 GHz spectrum channel for students to access when they return in the spring, according to Network Administrator John Glenn.

In a newsletter that IT plans to send to the rest of the school, they say, “The 5 GHz spectrum offers much greater speed and capacity than the 2.4 GHz spectrum. Since most newer consumer devices with Wi-fi capabilities support it, the Bryan Wi-fi network will be available solely on the 5 GHz spectrum starting in January 2015.”

Both the 2.4 GHz spectrum and the 5 GHz spectrum will be running for students to access during next.

Glenn said IT will also make the use of online gaming available with the new spectrum. It will be able to handle the capacity of gaming devices within the dorms. Starting in the spring semester, a separate network will be available specifically for gaming consoles.