The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

New wireless update promises improvements

Ever since its first implementation, the Guilford College wireless system has been criticized as slow and unreliable. Some feel that one is lucky to stay connected for a long period of time. However, new improvements to the system may make those connection problems disappear. The Guilford Information Technology & Services Department is hopeful that new changes to the wireless system will increase user Internet connectivity.

According to Interim Director of IT&S Craig Gray, who corresponded with The Guilfordian via email, the instability of the wireless system is a problem that IT&S has been aware of and trying to fix for a while. According to Gray, “the original wireless system did not account for a world where wireless connections come in the form of laptops, cell phones, tablet devices,” etc. This new system should be able to handle the multiple incoming connections from each person without interrupting someone already on the system.

“You can only really stay connected for about an hour before being kicked off (the wireless), which can make it next to impossible to get research or homework done,” said senior CMIT major Chris Bradshaw.

The new system will also get rid of several of the other wireless networks, limiting students, faculty, and staff to Secure (which will have a new name) and visitors to Visitors. Anyone who wants to use the wireless after these changes will need to get access to GC Secure.

The new wireless system is scheduled to be implemented sometime within the coming month. So those who are still using the older networks (StudentsFacultyStaff, Media, etc.) will need to gain access to Secure, while those who still use the wired network should be fine.

“The network is constantly under strain by the vast amounts of students who use it for streaming sites, such as NetFlix, and IT&S is managing with it the best they can,” said senior and Community Senate Vice President Brian Jones. “Steps must be taken to ensure a fast and reliable connection for all.”

IT&S is confident that continual updates to the wireless network “will further enhance the speed and flow of the network as a whole,” according to Gray. If he is correct, then there are many students, such as Jones, who will be overjoyed at the news.

While IT&S is insistent that this new system has been testing well, some students still remain skeptical.

“Sure it might help with the connection, but without a better network bandwidth, students still won’t be able to load simple YouTube videos,” says Bradshaw.

According to Gray, issues with streaming is also a concern for IT&S.

“We are investigating ways to alleviate that problem,” said Gray. “Streaming is probably here with us to stay, both in the classroom and without.  We need to get more efficient at how we allocate bandwidth at various times of the day to serve each user group well.”

With the wireless systems improved, it seems that IT&S will be able to work on other issues with Internet connectivity at Guilford.

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    ElidaFeb 14, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Kudos! What a neat way of thkiinng about it.