Two major aspects of the University’s plan to improve wireless Internet across the River campus will be completed over this Winter Break. By the time students return in mid-January, Valentine and deKiewiet Towers will be fully wireless, and the wireless authentication system will be streamlined for all students.
The new authentication login system will be run through a protocol called Domain Auth, which will save students’ login information once they’ve logged into the system once. This will allow students to connect to the Internet from anywhere on campus without having to deal with the process of logging in each time.
“Basically it’ll be something you set up once and you’ll never have to touch again,” Co-Chair of the Projects & Services Committee and junior Bradley Halpern said.
Three main parties are working together to realize the University’s wireless improvement goals — The Students’ Association’s Projects & Services Committee, University Information Technology and the Office of Dean Richard Feldman – each of which plays a specific role in the initiative. Projects & Services works to survey the needs and priorities of the student body, IT deals with much of the logistics of the projects and Dean Feldman and his office help to find funding for and organize the University’s wireless goals.
According to Feldman, much of the funding for bringing wireless Internet to Southside has come from the Parents Fund, which provides a way for parents to make donations to better the undergraduate experience at UR.
Both of the current improvements stem from a Projects and Services report compiled by Halpern in 2009, which laid out the beginning stages of a plan to extend and improve wireless Internet on campus. The report prioritized and ordered buildings on campus to receive wireless based on the impact that bringing wireless to those buildings would have on student life, as well as pointed out several areas where the existing wireless needed to be improved, based on student feedback.
“For years, students had been complaining that the campus isn’t wireless, but no one had taken a concrete step,” Halpern said of the purpose of the report. “The goal that I had in writing this was that we could look at it from a more objective point of view.”
According to Halpern, the team is right on schedule with regard to the goals laid out by the 2009 report. Wireless has already been installed by Douglass Dining Hall, Todd Union and the Residential Quad. Additionally, improvements have been made to wireless reliability in several areas across campus, including all of Wilson Commons.
Assuming that Projects and Services, IT and Feldman continue with the wireless projects in the order stated in the report, Towers or Hill Court could be next in line.
All three groups acknowledged that the most recent accomplishments were the result of a team effort, including Associate Vice Provost Eric Fredericksen.
“University IT appreciates the leadership and sponsorship provided by Dean Feldman for the expansion of wireless … and we are delighted to be a key partner in expanding wireless in student spaces,” Fredericksen said.
Fleming is a member of the class of 2013.