Information Technology Services at the University of Connecticut has expanded wireless coverage in outdoor areas throughout the Storrs and regional campuses to better meet students’ needs.
“When ITS completed the expansion of wireless networking within university buildings last year, we began to search for other locations that might be beneficial to students,” Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer Michael Mundrane said. “We observed that they often elected to work outdoors when the weather is nice. Our focus at the end of last semester and over the summer was to improve wireless coverage in selected outdoor areas where students often congregated. The goal was to bring networking to students and not the other way around.”
The main areas now being better serviced are Fairfield Way and the large grassy area between the Student Union and the Benton Art Museum, Mundrane said. Outside of Storrs, equipment has been ordered and is expected to be installed at the regional campuses by Thanksgiving.
“ITS will study usage at these outdoor locations over the semester to determine if infill is needed to increase capacity and we remain keenly interested in identifying additional areas that have similar qualities and where modest investments will provide substantive benefits for students,” Mundrane said. “This new infrastructure represents a commitment by ITS to provide coverage to student centric locations where we historically have not.”
Third-semester economics and political science double major Thomas Longo said he sees a need for an increased reach in signal.
“I was sitting outside Eddy earlier because me and a few of my friends were working on accounting stuff but we had to go inside because we couldn’t get a steady signal,” Longo said.
So far, the project has cost between $70,000 to $80,000, Mundrane said. When it is completed around Thanksgiving, it will have cost around $100,000 in its entirety.
“Wireless infrastructure that is designed for and deployed in outdoor areas provides a robust and high performance experience,” Mundrane said. “Students can use their laptops and other devices at these locations and receive the full benefits of being connected to the university network.”
Luke Hajdasz is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.