Students across campus face issues with Wi-Fi connection, as University search for cause

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An email has been sent to Lancaster students acknowledging difficulties with the Wi-Fi on campus. In the email, ISS state the issues may be caused by personal routers interfering with the university’s Wi-Fi system.

The email goes on to urge students who do have personal routers to disconnect them, as this “will help ISS to work out whether these devices are the causes of the current problems.” The final point of the email gives advice to students who are unsure if their device may be a problem, telling them to contact ResNet for clarification.

A joint statement from ISS and accommodation said, “Over the past week or so there have been a small number of reports of Wi-Fi service problems in some rooms on campus and ISS staff are working to ensure that coverage is available for everyone. We are also aware that personal Wi-Fi routers or devices are being operated in individual rooms which may interfere with the University system. As everyone should be able to use the campus-wide Wi-Fi network, students have therefore been asked to remove any personal access point or Wi-Fi device in their rooms.”

The statement also explained that “eduroam”, the campus wide network, should now “be available in all residencies.” This means that, after work was completed this summer, all students should have Wi-Fi access in their rooms. This is seen as an important development due to the prominence of smart phones, tablets and other portable devices for students on campus.

A small number of students have complained about Wi-Fi problems in their accommodation. Information SCAN received states that those experiencing problems should contact the ISS service desk and reiterated that those with personal routers should disconnect them. ISS themselves stated that hard work is being done behind the scenes to help those currently experiencing issues.

LUSU President, Joel Pullan, told SCAN: “We are looking into it [problems with the Wi-Fi] right now. What I desperately need is students’ feedback as to whether their Wi-Fi is working, because only when we have the evidence can we take it to the university.” He went on to say that a joint effort is needed to see whether “students are getting the Wi-Fi they are paying for.” Relating to this, LUSU have created a “Wi-Fi Project” which will involve college presidents seeing if the service in their colleges is good enough.

Pullan wanted to affirm that the University were aware of the problem. “D-floor know about it and I’m going to make sure they keep thinking about it” he told SCAN.

In a SCAN online poll, only 24% of respondents said that they were completely happy with the Wi-Fi in their accommodation. 29% of respondents replied that they have experienced serious problems with their Wi-Fi or have been unable to connect to the Wi-Fi at all. A further 47% said that they had experienced some problems while trying to connect to the Wi-Fi

SCAN has received some further responses from student residents on campus about the current service. Lancaster student Danny Orr criticised the current service’s quality saying: “It’s very temperamental, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s not reliable enough.” Matt Cooke, another student, echoed his sentiment, saying that even when the service is working, “streaming music and videos can be slow.” Another concern was raised by student Rob Low about moving around his accommodation, saying the Wi-Fi service is, “poor in the kitchen.”

No difficulties in the recent project installing the Wi-Fi have been reported, meaning the personal router interference is thought to be the only cause of the problems at this point. ISS was unable to confirm this until the current routers operated by students have been disconnected and an evaluation of whether the service improves can be made.

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