Wi-Fi extended across entire campus


Contributing Writer

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Allegheny Computing Services continued its upgrade of the wireless network this semester, connecting the remainder of the campus that previously lacked wireless Internet access.

“Over the past summer we extended [the network] to the rest of campus,” said Chief Information Officer Rick Holmgren.  “We think we have coverage of all the residential spaces, all the teaching and learning spaces, and all of the meeting spaces on campus.”

Many of the residence halls, until this year, required the use of an Ethernet cable to access the Internet.  Students no longer need to deal with that inconvenience.

The residence halls added to the network include Allegheny, Brooks, Caflisch, Ravine, Schultz and Walker halls as well as the Phi Kappa Psi house and all college-owned houses, said Area Coordinator Betsy Scarpaci.

The entire procedure of transforming the network from a wired to wireless infrastructure took over two years and cost approximately $500,000, Holmgren said.  This included the costs of repairs, access point installations and funds allocated for continued research.

Holmgren and Fadden are both satisfied by student response to the changes.

“We…have had many less people having problems getting on the wireless network,” Fadden said.  “The time that we actually spend helping [students] has decreased.”

Jerico Offutt, ’14, who relied on an Ethernet cable last year in his Schultz dorm room, expressed relief at the flexibility of Wi-Fi.

“It is a wonderful thing to have the wireless,” said Offutt. “I’m glad to see Allegheny College using the technology.”

Holmgren and Fadden stressed the importance of students reporting any problems with computers and the network, to Computing Services in Murray Hall.

“We always try to find and isolate the issue,’” Fadden said.  “I think we try very hard not to take the easy way out which, would be to say, ‘well, YouTube has a problem.'”