Before my freshman year, Springfield College did not have wireless Internet. They had wired Internet or Ether- net. Beginning in the fall of 2010, the college started to use WiFi in attempts to make the Internet more of age and to have an overall better experience going online. While the wireless Internet has worked for students and faculty for the most part, there have been some major issues with the Internet on campus since its changeover from wired.
In the dorms especially, the Internet has been spotty at best throughout my two years at Springfield College. During peak hours, which I have found to be from 8:30 to 11 p.m., the Internet becomes very slow and sometimes non-responsive. This can get extremely frustrating as students are trying to get their work done while they have to constantly worry about whether or not the sites they need will load.
This was an issue for me in both Reed Hall last year, and International Hall this year. I have also heard from a number of people that the wireless Internet has been spotty in other buildings as well.
Wireless Internet is still a rather new technology, so there are going to be some nuances to overcome, but for the most part, the issues that Springfield College are facing seem to be issues that can be solved with ease.
Now, I do not have specific knowledge of the capacity of Springfield’s servers, nor do I know the technical specifications of the servers either, but it seems like if the college were to just strengthen the servers, or better the bandwidth, either through an upgrade in equipment or an upgrade in provider, the issues facing students and faculty would then be cut down to one in 100 cases.
Schools, businesses and buildings much bigger than SC do not face as many issues with their wireless Internet as we do. And although Internet connectivity has been increasingly better and better over the past couple of months, more issues will arise as more wire- less technology is purchased by students.
Tablets, iPads, smart phones, gaming systems, lap- tops, and even now TVs need an Internet connection to function. With more devices being used on campus, more band- width is being used as well. The three logical choices for the College are to: 1) Limit the amount of wireless devices that each student can use. 2) Increase the bandwidth by provider. 3) Upgrade their servers so they are able to take on the wireless demands of the students, faculty and the devices.
Some of these options may be relatively costly for the school, but I would think they have the money to accomplish what they need to. The college promises WiFi to its students, but so far have not given the optimum wireless service that students have come to expect.
Springfield has looked into this problem, and the wireless Internet has been improving in the past couple months, but similar problems still arise around those peak hours. It would be unlikely for any ma- jor changes to be made by the end of this year, but hopefully they fix all the big issues for the next school year.