Students, staff and faculty returning to campus this fall may have noticed that more of the campus than ever is covered by wireless Internet, including the Bronco Student Center, University Park, the Marketplace and the Quad.
Funded by the Student Success Fee, work on the wireless network at the BSC began in the spring with 57 access points installed during Commencement week. Each access point can connect up to 100 devices; the BSC is now wired for up to 5,700 devices.
“The speed you will get is going to be roughly the same speed you’d get on a home Internet connection,” says Gabe Kuri, director of Network and Telecommunications.
Late in the summer, the project blanketed University Park, the Marketplace and the Quad with new access points.
The project also added wireless to all of the residence halls, which had previously only been served by wired Internet connections. Unlike other areas of campus, where the project was funded by the Student Success Fee, the residence halls were funded by University Housing Services.
The months-long project by the Division of Information Technology is intended to help campus infrastructure keep pace with the rapid growth and popularity of mobile devices. The need for improved access to wireless Internet became particularly apparent in the Bronco Student Center, where hundreds of students gather between classes.
“The infrastructure in that building was installed approximately 10 years ago,” Kuri says. “At the time, not everyone had a wireless laptop — most people didn’t even have wireless on their phone. The need grew significantly over the years, and it basically overloaded the old system.”
Vice President of IT John McGuthry didn’t want to just stop there, however. He has a vision for a completely connected campus.
“What I want is from the time the students wake up in the morning to the time they get to class, they are connected — to use our infrastructure to learn as much as possible,” McGuthry says.
Future expansion of campus Wi-Fi will come as the Student Success Fee is allocated to the project, and could include areas such as the Bronco Commons and the Engineering Meadow.
“We have inside of IT Governance the Emerging Technologies Working Group that includes students, faculty and staff,” McGuthry says. “They decide where we’re going to make our investments for our wired and wireless network enhancements. Every single year, we’re going to be working with this group to determine what we’re going to do next.”
To make the most of the wireless connections, users should make sure to sign in their mobile devices into the CPP network, rather than the GUEST network, IT officials say. The CPP network will require users to sign in with their Bronco name and network password, but it provides faster speeds and avoids some of the limitations placed on the GUEST network. For more information about logging on to the campus wireless networks, visit the eHelp page at https://ehelp.wiki.cpp.edu/Wireless_Access