Students report faulty wireless services

In the weeks following winter break, students have identified recurring problems with theGeneseo wireless connection, specifically in the residence halls.

Computing and Information Technology (CIT) explained that while there have not been any technical problems with the campus’ wireless infrastructure, some changes implemented over winter break have affected misconfigured computers.

“The majority of complaints we have heard are from students about the wireless coverage in the residence halls or the slowness of the Internet,” said Kirk Anne, CIT assistant director and manager of systems and networking.

“The [wireless] problem has been a little worse this year,” said Rick Coloccia, CIT network manager. “But it’s a problem from Road Runner, our Internet service provider, so it’s out of our direct control.”

Anne explained that most of the connection problems are in the residence halls because “the dense construction of the buildings and radio interference generated by hundreds of devices may make it impossible to provide wireless as good as it can be in an average home.”

While CIT installed additional wireless access points over the summer, a few factors are making it difficult to provide adequate wireless coverage in the dorms.

“First, the buildings’ construction restrict wireless signals and need additional wiring for CIT to add more access points,” said Anne. “This means that loaded closets, thick walls and students hamper the signal.”

The other problem is interference. According to Coloccia, “There are currently 2,660 rogue devices, like wireless routers or printers, in the residence halls generating interference.”

Most of the devices combating difficulties connecting to the wireless networks are personal computers, not Macs. Students with PCs may have been requested to accept a certificate. If students either didn’t accept the certificate or did it incorrectly, this could be the cause of many wireless difficulties.

“In most of the cases that we’ve seen, students are coming to us with problems with their PCs because of the certificates,” said Anne.

CIT is currently looking for ways to increase the bandwidth in a fiscally responsible way, as well as obtain budgetary quotes for the additional wiring required to put out additional access points.

“Anybody having problems with their wireless can go to the CIT HelpDesk and fix the problem,” said Anne.