WiFi Fiasco: What is Happening to IC’s Internet

Breahna Lesemann –

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This week computers have been plagued with empty WiFi bars, yellow triangles with exclamation marks, and the random disappearances of the sorely missed “ic” WiFi.

Stories of the temperamental WiFi have become main topics of conversations and angry social media rants with theories and complaints abundant.

Illinois College’s IT Department has become aware of this issue and has taken measures to fix the internet. They have talked to Meraki, our internet provider, and Meraki says that there is over-utilization of the channel. There are two speeds of internet on campus, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The 5 GHz is new and can only work on newer models of computers. The hope is to get everyone who can use 5GHz on it to alleviate the channel for the computers that don’t have the capability to connect to the 5GHz internet.

connect-ipad-to-wifi

According to Patrick Brown, IC’s new Chief Information Officer, the internet is having trouble because some of the students on campus have been hooking up wireless access points in their rooms to generate their own WiFi signal. The problem with these access points is that they interfere with the network. Brown says the network is “a radio signal. The more radios you have on the same frequency the more static.”

IT is trying to look for weak access points, but these weak points can’t be found when students have individual access points in their rooms. These access points need to be disconnected from the wireless port and unplugged from power outlets, in other words, turned off and disconnected completely. If they aren’t disconnected they will be found on the network and the ports will be turned off.

These two instructions were recently sent out in an email. If these are followed, hopefully IT will get the internet back up and running.

Many students, however, have questioned this notion of IC’s internet being slowed down by students’ private routers. When asked by The Rambler, most students were not aware of any students using their own WiFi signals. In fact, a number students remain very unsatisfied with both the internet and IT’s attempts to fix it. Some students claim that they can’t access the material that is required for their classes, hindering their education.

Brown also mentioned that if a student would just like to hook up multiple devices to the internet jacks, IT can rent out a box that will not give out a signal, and this will allow these devices to be connected to the internet.

IT has been working on many things, one of which is the delivery of the campus announcements. There are so many sent out in a day that some emails can be lost. There have been discussions of two possible solutions. The first is having a daily digest that is sent out every day and contains all on the announcements for whole day. The second option is creating a website with all of the campus announcements on it.

IT  is also trying to find ways to get students to attend training sessions for different things, such as Google Drive, which in a few weeks the school will have unlimited storage on. When these training sessions are held, they have one or two people show up, and sometimes, no one shows up at all. They have been working with Student Senate to try and find ways to get students to attend these training sessions.

IT wants students to come to them when they need technological assistance. The IT Help Desk can be reached by email, helpdesk@mail.ic.edu, and by phone, 217.245.3416. IT is located on Crispin third floor in room 305 if hands on help is needed.

Please also make sure to contact the Student Senate Student Life Committee with any concerns at senatestudentlife@mail.ic.edu.

 

Breahna Lesemann, from Bath, Illinois, is a sophomore majoring in English Education with a minor in Theatre at Illinois College. Breahna is a writer for the The Rambler and a member of the IC concert choir.

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