May 23, 2024

In this era of reliance on technology, college students constantly rely on the internet for education, communication and personal use. This dependence makes working Wi-Fi imperative at almost all hours of the day, especially on campuses such as California Baptist University.

However, CBU students have encountered some bad or spotty Wi-Fi connections on campus, which can make studying and completing assignments an uphill battle.

Valerie Montoya, junior exercise science major, has encountered issues with the Wi-Fi on campus.

“So far, I would say (my experiences) have been pretty bad,” Montoya said. “The Wi-Fi is not as strong, and at certain locations at CBU, it is a little weaker than others.”

Montoya has found that the Wi-Fi in the Business Building works well for her, but the Yeager Center and Health Science Campus has presented her with issues.

Katie Correa, sophomore psychology major, has encountered similar Wi-Fi dead spots, where there is little or no Wi-Fi signal in certain locations on campus. Though she has found good Wi-Fi signal in buildings and in the library, she has especially struggled with the Wi-Fi connection outdoors, such as along Yeager Center.

“A lot of us spend time (outside), so I feel like (the school) should do something for us to all gain access to Wi-Fi out here because sometimes we are just using our hotspots,” Correa said. “I feel like they should do something about that.”

Although students can use their hotspots to use their phone’s cellular data as a replacement for Wi-Fi connection. However, some phone data plans have limited data, meaning that students could run out of data if they overuse their hotspot. Hotspots also only work when cell service is present.

David Marley, director of infrastructure services within Information and Technology Services (ITS), said that Wi-Fi refers to radio waves that allow users to connect to the internet. CBU has more than 1,000 access points for wireless coverage across campus, and more than 13,000 devices connect to the system each day.

However, Wi-Fi signals can become weak or slow due to a variety of issues. Marley said Wi-Fi radio waves struggle to pass through walls, buildings, trees, active microwaves and rain, meaning that some parts of campus might lack Wi-Fi coverage. In addition, Wi-Fi range is limited to about 50–100 feet, which can impact Wi-Fi speed and connection.

Marley presents steps for troubleshooting Wi-Fi issues, with which ITS can help students. First, students can work with ITS to determine if there is Wi-Fi coverage at the location, and they can also examine device-specific issues, which Marley said is often an issue. Some common device-related issues include a computer Wi-Fi card not functioning properly, the need for a software update or a Wi-Fi setting that needs to be adjusted.

Marley emphasizes that the best way to improve coverage is to communicate with ITS about issues, as this information can inform ITS about where more Wi-Fi access points are needed.

“Strengthening the Wi-Fi network is a continuous effort,” Marley said. “Student feedback is an important part of improving coverage and the ITS team encourages students to reach out when there are issues.”

To contribute to the effort, Marley said it is most helpful when students share the location at which they encountered a Wi-Fi issue, what time of day it occurred and what service they were attempting to perform, such as video streaming or browsing the internet.

“Improving Wi-Fi on campus is a continuous team effort,” Marley said. “Students are encouraged to reach out and communicate Wi-Fi issues so that the ITS team can work towards improving coverage. Currently, CBU spans over 170 acres and providing a secure and stable WiFi experience can be accomplished together.”

To inform ITS about Wi-Fi issues, students can email Marley directly at dmarley@calbaptist.edu, email the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@calbaptist.edu or call ITS at (951)343-4444.

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