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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Students complain about slow Wi-Fi network on campus

On an average day in the ASUCD Coffee House (CoHo), one can often overhear students complaining that the connection to Moobilenet, the campus Wi-Fi network, is slow.

“The unreliability of Wi-Fi leads to unprofessional presentations, embarrassment and apathy,” said Anna Hunt, a senior religious studies major.

Many students, faculty and staff have complained that the wireless network is lackluster, noting that Moobilenet is often slow to connect in places such as the ASUCD Coffee House (CoHo), Wellman Hall and Olson Hall. According to Hunt, it is not uncommon to see a professor struggling with their laptop, unable to load an online video he prepared for class.

Mark Redican, director of communication resources, said that his unit hasn’t seen many problems reported.

Despite the increase in wireless access points, from 300 in 2008 to 1,600 now, bandwidth is still an issue. The widespread adoption of smartphones has not helped, according to Redican.

“Some phones check e-mail every minute,” Redican said.

The number of devices connecting to Moobilenet is one aspect that contributes to the inconsistent wireless network.

One campus department is actively adopting new technology.

Tracy Bennett, director of computer services for Student Housing, believes Wi-Fi is the way of the future.

“Generally, it’s been good; not too many complaints,” he said of Resnetx, the Wi-Fi network in the dorms.

However, Bennett said bringing Wi-Fi to the dorms has been a challenge. He attributes most of the issues to excessive downloading, gaming and streaming movies — some of the activities college students like best.

Redican said that it is difficult to assess the performance of the network if users don’t report the problems. He said that they have not received a large amount of complaints about Moobilenet.

“If there are problems, we definitely want to hear about it,” he said.

While this is an option for students struggling to connect, Hunt suggested that a bad connection may not always be such a bad thing.

“The only benefit is that those addicted to Facebook can’t always get their fix during class,” Hunt said.

RICHARD CHANG can be reached at campus@theaggie.org.

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