Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GU Continues Wireless Push With Library Upgrade

Students working late nights in Lauinger may have noticed small signs posted around the library making an important announcement: University Information Services is finally in the process of making up for years of Lauinger’s infamously spotty wireless connections. Installation of a new wireless network began in Lauinger last Tuesday and is the focus of a larger UIS plan to overhaul the entire campus’ wireless network, according to Beth Ann Bergsmark, a director of UIS. Bergsmark said that the work in Lauinger should be completed at some point near the beginning of the spring semester. Currently, the Intercultural Center, Lauinger Library, and St. Mary’s Hall are the only academic buildings listed as fully wireless, according to the UIS Web site. She also said that the process is an expensive one but declined to provide exact figures. However, she estimated that it would cost a “few hundred thousand dollars just to cover Lauinger.” She added that once the new technology is in place in Lauinger, it will become feasible for UIS to expand the wireless network to cover all of Healy Lawn. In an e-mail to the campus community on Wednesday, the library announced the installation of the new network and alerted library-goers to the signs posted throughout the building, announcing when work on the network will be done. Bergsmark said that they plan to complete work during times when the library is least busy. Bergsmark said there are several obstacles to making drastic improvements to the network. She said Georgetown’s wireless network is based on first-generation wireless technology, which was installed four or five years ago with hardware that is now severely out of date. She also said that students are using much more high bandwidth-intensive programs over the wireless network, such as watching movies and using interactive tools for classroom activities. By replacing the old technology, Bergsmark said the new network will allow for more simultaneous connections and will balance and will expand the bandwidth availability in areas where there are generally more users. Bergsmark also said wireless access can only be expanded in residence halls when they are renovated. New South, renovated in 2004, and the Southwest Quad dorms, built in 2003, are the only residence halls with complete wireless access. According to the UIS website, there are also three floors in Village C in which their lounges have wireless access, as well as the computer lab in Harbin Hall, the third floor lounge in Darnall Hall, and the laundry/mail room in Alumni Square. GUSA Vice President Matt Appenfeller (COL ’08) said that many students have stepped up complaints to the Student Association this semester about the faulty and often nonexistent wireless connection in various places around campus – particularly in Lauinger and certain residence halls. “We have been meeting with UIS for biweekly meetings and have been relaying student concerns to them. They have been quite productive and the changes in the library have come out of these meetings,” he said. He also added that that GUSA plans to continue to push for a better wireless network on campus. “At the beginning of the semester, White-Gravenor wasn’t wireless, but now it is. There has been progress, and UIS plans within two years to have completely revamped all the wireless,” he said. While students said that the network updates can be disruptive, they added that they recognize the importance of these improvements. Robert Chedid (MSB ’10) said he is pleased to see the university working to make a better and more seamless wireless network, even if there are some temporary disruptions. “The wireless network in Lauinger has long needed to be updated, and it’s good to see the university responding to student demand,” he said. Chedid said expanded wireless access in dorms should be a top priority. ilan Suri (COL ’11) who lives in Village C West, a dorm without wireless, also said that expanded the network to all of the dorms is of utmost importance. “I think it is ridiculous that a school of Georgetown’s caliber doesn’t have wireless [coverage] in their dorms, [as] wireless in dorm rooms can only benefit the students’ studies,” he said. UIS has been working with both GUSA and InterHall to consider plans for future expansion of the wireless network on campus. According to Bergsmark, the Leavey Center and various residence halls are next on the list to receive wireless access. Bergsmark did say, though, that the university might not be fully wireless for the foreseeable future. “You can’t build Rome in a day,” she said. – HOYA Staff Writer Andrew Dwulet contributed to this report.

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