Wi-Fi in The Oaks consistently unreliable, students say

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 - Students living in the Oaks on the Square Apartment buildings in Storrs Center are experiencing Wi-Fi problems, creating a problem especially with finals week approaching. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016 - Students living in the Oaks on the Square Apartment buildings in Storrs Center are experiencing Wi-Fi problems, creating a problem especially with finals week approaching. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

Apartments at the Oaks on the square have been experiencing widespread Wi-Fi problems in recent weeks.

“It seems to start getting bad around four to seven and it just continuously tries to connect,” seventh-semester physiology and neurobiology major Lily Alfano said. “I normally give up after an hour of trying. Sunday night it wouldn’t work from 8-12, so it basically could stop working anytime.”

The Internet provider for the Oaks is Elauwit Networks, contracted out by EdR, the Oaks management company. EdR, formerly Education Realty Trust and Allen O’Hara, is a housing development company for college campuses that has over 86 properties in 24 states.

EdR uses Elauwit for 80 of their 86 properties and have purchased stock in the Elauwit Networks, according to senior vice president and chief technology officer Scott Casey.

“We discovered a few weeks ago that there were some software glitches that were causing intermittent glitches with the Wi-Fi,” Casey said. “In the three-to-four years we have been there, we have received minimal complaints. There are always going to be problems.”

Casey described the Wi-Fi coverage for the Oaks like a “big wireless bubble.”

“The buildings are in a bubble filled with wireless coverage, with devices going in and out causing people to drop,” Casey said. “The recorded times of problems are between 11 P.M. and 12 A.M. We noticed that there was a patch out in our connectivity and so we replaced the core piece of software that was causing the problems as a proactive measure and have not seen any further issues.”

Casey said management is able to determine when there are problems by “tickets,” or filed complaints through Elauwit Networks.

“Students can file tickets via text, online or can call up the 24/7 real person support on the phone,” Casey said. “We have not received more recent tickets since the software update. Elauwit does a great job and is quick to respond to student concerns.”

However, these measures do not seem to be enough for some UConn students residing in the Oaks.

“It is incredibly frustrating to be paying over $1,000 a month and not have reliable Wi-Fi, which is included in the rent, working most days,” Alfano said. “Though Wi-Fi may be seen as a petty thing to complain about, it is a necessity to any college student since our entire course structure is online and so many students live in these apartments.”

Some students said that their concerns exist outside of the scope of the recent Wi-Fi glitches.

“I’ve been living at the Oaks for a year and a half, and this isn’t the first time I’ve had an issue with them,” fifth-semester allied health science major Joanne Puzio said. “Whether it’s trying to contact someone in the office about rent, getting maintenance to fix something or replacing ink in the printer, I feel that I am always dealing with some sort of issue with them. I’ve never felt like they care to deal with residents’ issues.”


Elizabeth Charash is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at elizabeth.charash@uconn.edu.