FSU doubles bandwidth, adds access points

FSU doubled the Internet bandwidth for Wi-Fi during the winter break, and is installing several new Internet access points in the buildings, according to Vice President Dale Hamel.

The Internet bandwidth was increased from 500mb to 1gb, said Hamel. Internet access points on campus will be increasing from 300 points to 900 points by the end of the project.

According to Corey Hobbs, Network and Telecommunications manager, the project will be officially completed by 2017.

Additional Internet access points have already been installed in North Hall, May Hall, Whittemore Library, Hemenway Hall, Pierce Hall, and Horace Mann Hall. Larned Hall will be updated during the spring or summer, Linsley Hall will be updated during the next school year, and Towers Hall will be completed the following summer.

“The biggest issue seems to have been the residence halls, as opposed to the academic facilities,” said Hamel. “I think it’s because of the type of traffic we’re seeing there. We’re seeing a lot more uploading movies, and things like that, in the residence halls than in the academic buildings.”

The number of devices students have also affects Wi-Fi, according to Hamel. “If you’ve got additional cellular devices, and people are using that off of our Wi-Fi network, that puts demands on the system as well.”

Hobbs said that each access point has a capacity limit, and only so many devices can connect to it at the same time.

“When it was originally designed, students were coming with a laptop. Now they’re coming with a laptop, a tablet, possibly a printer, possibly a phone. … The capacity is definitely an issue, and that’s one of the issues we’re trying to address here.”

He added that by increasing the access points on campus, students will be able to use more devices.

The entire Wi-Fi upgrade was estimated to cost $600,000, but, according to Director of Systems and Networking Michael Zinkus, the project will end up costing less.

“I would estimate the total to be somewhere between $400,000 and $500,000,” said Zinkus.

The money is provided by the annual operating budget, which is a total of $3.1 million for this year, according to Hamel.

Katelyn Hanlon, a senior, said the Wi-Fi is “slow at some points, but I have noticed it getting a little faster.”

Sophmore Natalie Santana said the Wi-Fi sometimes “just gives out randomly, even if I don’t have a lot of tabs open.”

She added, “I find myself disconnecting and reconnecting a lot.”

Sydney Young, a sophomore, said, “Last year [the Wi-Fi] was a lot worse, but it got better.”

Airi Tsugi, a junior, said “sometimes [the Wi-Fi] works well, but it depends,” on the location.

Junior Rahmat Udhnawala said the Wi-Fi gets weaker “when it’s busier in the day.”

Freshman Sarah Morgan said, “There is one room in Hemenway that’s really bad. My page wouldn’t load.”

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