Wireless connections lead to problems in Mathews Hall

Brandon Van Meter

Brandon Van Meter

Outlined by the AL Cloud plan, the Office of Information of Technology wants to provide wireless Internet across campus – including residence halls. At the beginning of this semester, Mathews Hall was converted to a wireless-Internet-only hall as part of the plan.

Now in November, the installed wireless (802.11N) routers have not met the needs of the students in that hall. Numerous residents noted poor service in a survey to gauge the effectiveness of the new network. Of those who responded, a good percentage reported interference with academic-related activities with poor wireless connectivity. To alleviate some of the anxiety, one wired port was installed in every room in Mathews Hall.

Money was spent installing the latest hardware to create a 21st century wireless network. The placement of wireless-N routers touted stability and speed, but lacked in both functions. More money was spent reinstalling the wired ports removed during the summer. However, at this point, there aren’t enough funds to provide two ports per room (as featured in other halls). At the end of this whole experience, students are left with a wireless network that does not work for all and half the wired ports as other halls.

This all sounds like one big quagmire.

Despite all of the troubles experienced by the AL Cloud, at least we’re moving forward. This campus could rest on its laurels and not try to innovate. With more programs requiring laptops, many students come to SDSU with wireless-enabled devices that crave connectivity. Wireless Internet should be available everywhere on campus. And despite this major stumbling block, the administration needs to look forward and fix the problems.

If these types of problems persist, students are not going to stay complacent. Research needs to be done on what is available for our residence halls. We need to know before we install expensive hardware that it will work. With more classes featuring more online components than ever, the Internet has become a needed campus utility like water and heat. If it isn’t provided in a cheap and effective manner, we’ll never get out of this quagmire.