IT “fine-tuning” campus Wi-Fi

By Justin Kollar, Staff Writer

If you have been having a hard time connecting to Olivet’s Wi-Fi you are not alone. With lines out the door, Information Technology has had their hands full helping students get their devices connected.

Tyler Campbell of IT addressed students’ concerns saying, “We have made a lot of changes to the Wi-Fi over the summer, and we’re still working on improving it.”

The changes in the wireless login and ONUnet Wireless will eliminate the need for users to login each time the service is accessed across campus, offering better usability while maintaining authentication security.

The current issues are not necessarily a problem of connectivity, but are more often than not issues with not following the prompts while registering devices to the network.

Student employee Anna Hoekstra of IT explains, “It’s just a process getting connected to Solomon,” she said. “It’s actually fairly simple if you just follow the steps.”

“Solomon is not perfect,” Hoekstra admitted. “Students more commonly have trouble connecting not because of poor coverage, but rather because they simply are not following the steps.”

So if Solomon for the most part works, why are certain areas not allowing devices to connect? Certain buildings across campus contain black-out zones. One half will allow access to Solomon and the other does not even pick it up.

“We’re still doing the fine-tuning,” Campbell said. “It’s a large process when there are so many buildings with so many floors. Each building is unique and so are the solutions to each case.”

The way Solomon or any Wi-Fi server works is by handing out its available bandwidth to student users that request it, thus granting them access to the Internet—until the bandwidth limit is exceeded, that is.  When all available bandwidth is being used the server will no longer accept new users. With the increasing number of incoming freshman and transfer students at ONU every year, the server had to be upgraded to increase the amount of users it could accept.

Students then are at the mercy of IT. With classes now in full swing and the final upgrades to Solomon not yet completed, many students are feeling overwhelmed with homework. Most homework is now completed using a device, such as a laptop or iPad

To add insult to injury, with the iPad initiative being implemented, art and music students cannot use their iPads without Wi-Fi. Student Justin Vankalibre explained, “I have had a very hard time working on assignments on campus, especially on my laptop. I have to either work on the computers in the library or bring my laptop home, which has been a huge inconvenience.”

“It is troubling when you are trying to sign on to Solomon to access the internet and you can’t,” Brandon Baker echoed. “After paying all this money you’d think you could use the internet. It shouldn’t be this hard.”

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