Since the beginning of the 2021 fall semester, students have been voicing their complaints about the state of the wireless networks that are available for use on Ohio Weslyan’s campus.
Although the student population currently rests at around 1400, which is significantly smaller than even other liberal arts institutions, the internet bandwidth seems to be failing at peak hours of usage such as 9 pm to 11 pm.
These issues beg the question, just how robust is Ohio Wesleyan’s networking infrastructure, and could it get even worse under certain circumstances?
With the continued presence of Covid-19, the threat of a temporary or extended switch back to online learning hangs over student’s heads, even at a university that is pushing so many preventative measures like OWU.
“We still have zoom meetings for random stuff, some of my teachers still do zoom for office hours and stuff like that,” says sophomore Alex Nordlund.
However, if all student’s do ever return to online learning, it seems like the current state of the wireless network, which is what most students use despite the presence of ethernet ports in some buildings, could end up being a large issue. To combat this, OWU has begun working to upgrade specifically the wireless capabilities of their network.
OWU acts as its own internet service provider, meaning that these upgrades require physical installations and careful management by technicians. Beginning in the fall and continuing through the spring semester, students have been receiving emails detailing the upgrading of switches and connections throughout multiple buildings like Smith Hall, the first year dorm.
“As previously announced, the University is investing $1 million this year to upgrade our network with the latest technology. This includes campus firewalls (installed in October), core switches (scheduled for November 23 at 1 a.m.), and over 250 building switches and 250 wireless access points. The new wireless access points will be installed in residence halls.” These changes were announced in an email to the students from Brian Rellinger, the school’s Chief Information Officer.
Despite this, many students have continued to experience issues. With more upgrades planned in the near future, OWU students can only hope that they are effective in providing a more consistent and stable network.