Letter: Response to editorial on campus wireless

On April 7, 2014 • By

As Interim associate vice president and chief information officer for Information Systems and Technology (IS&T;), I am writing to provide additional perspective on The Signal’s March 3, 2014 editorial on campus wireless.

IS&T; agrees with The Signal’s editorial staff that wireless is a crucial campus service and values student feedback in helping to identify service needs. We are continually developing the University’s secure wireless network to meet both the emerging needs of our campus community and the unique challenges of our densely populated downtown campus.

University wireless requirements have more than tripled in the past three years, due to an expanding student population and rapidly increasing mobile device usage. To meet growing demand, we have recently installed 1,100 additional wireless access points and updated access points across campus, with particular focus on classrooms and auditoriums. One goal of this effort is to allow simultaneous connection of up to three devices per person on the wireless network. We are currently conducting a cross-campus quality assurance study to confirm that signal strength can consistently meet this standard. Another goal of expansion has been to increase the number of locations covered. This past year, wireless coverage has been expanded to three new campus buildings, and we plan to grow coverage to additional public spaces, including the Library Plaza.

We recognize that the two recent service interruptions, which occurred on Feb. 20 and Jan. 9, inconvenienced members of the campus community, and we apologize that important business had to be delayed while wireless service was unavailable. We are working to improve our monitoring and diagnosis processes, with the help of our wireless vendor, in order to minimize further interruptions.

When a device experiences wireless connection problems, the issue can be related to a number of factors, including password configuration, settings for the particular device or a variety of additional network elements. Therefore, we need student involvement to efficiently investigate device-specific and location-based wireless issues.

We want to encourage students to let us know about wireless issues through our support and feedback channels. IS&T; provides a Walk-Up Help Desk on the ground floor, room 23, of the Aderhold Learning Center, where students can bring mobile devices and laptops to receive assistance configuring wireless access.

Additionally, our online wireless support site provides instructions to help students connect to the wireless network, as well as a feedback form for reporting connection problems. For assistance or to report a connection issue, please visit technology.gsu.edu/wireless.

Sallie Wright

Interim associate vice president and chief information officer for Information Systems and Technology