Power Outage Not to Blame for Wi-Fi Woes



Many students expressed concern during the first week of classes that a power outage interrupted Wi-Fi service on campus. 

But the connectivity problems that users experienced when registering their wireless devices had little to do with the outage, and more to do with individual problems.

Kole Taylor, the Communication Manager for OIT, said the power outage was an isolated incident occurring alongside student Wi-Fi problems.

“[The Wi-Fi’s] not always going to be perfect,” Taylor said. “We want to make sure we’re providing the best service possible.”

It’s important, Taylor notes, to dispel the idea that there are too many users online at the same time.

“We have a fast network, it’s not going to significantly bog down the network as more people log on," Taylor said. "The network is made to have this many number of people. This is its normal speed.”

Last Tuesday, 18,382 concurrent wireless devices accessed the Wi-Fi. By September 3rd, it is projected that roughly 20,000 concurrent wireless devices will access the devices at the same time, higher than any other number in school history. If anything, the Wi-Fi on campus is stronger than ever.

But Lindsay Harrison still has some minor complaints.

“It’s not too bad,” she said “But it could probably be better.”

As someone who identifies as “relying heavily” on Wi-Fi, the Sandusky, Ohio freshman states that she has a hard time with moving her laptop from class to class, as it loses signal quite frequently.

“I live in South campus, but I can’t use it in North for some reason,” Harrison said. “Other than that I don’t have too many complaints.”

Individuals like Ashley Betts, however, are satisfied overall with the performance of the campus’ Wi-Fi.

“It’s fast enough for what I need,” said Betts, a pre-professional biology major. “I like that I can take my computer everywhere because there’s Wi-Fi all over campus.”

But Taylor said problems may persist for users in the result of bringing their own wireless routers or trying to access their printers wirelessly.

“There’s a finite amount of space in the wireless spectrum,” he said. "In regards to students bring their own wireless routers for use. If you pack a bunch of the same wireless signal in the same part of the spectrum it starts to interfere with each other because they have similar wavelengths.”

It is encouraged for students not to use their own wireless routers, Taylor said, and rather stick to the Wi-Fi that is available on campus.

If connectivity problems persist, he urged individuals to seek out help at the Help Desk in the library. Prior to that though, there are a few preventative measures that a computer user can take in order easier connect to the internet.

“If [users] do run into any consistent problems they can’t overcome they should definitely call the Help Desk,” Taylor said. “Make sure that your computer is up to date, your drivers are up to date, your anti-virus, and different stuff like that.

Prior calling the Help Desk, there is also a website available for students to look up their connectivity problems to see if their wireless arrangement is correct – help.cmich.edu.

“It’s to look up knowledge that we have about services,” Taylor said of the site. “A lot of that can be found on the knowledge base. If someone does have any trouble connecting to anything they can look it up to see at least if their configuration is right.”

In the event that the Help Desk is needed to be reached for internet and computer related issues, they can be reached at (989)-774-3662.

“We’re here to help students,” Taylor said. “We’re a service office. If students are having problems, we encourage them to call us.”

The Help Desk hours span from 7 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays. It is also available noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and noon until midnight on Sundays.


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