Administrators hope to resolve wifi issues soon


Story by Dory Smith, Multimedia Editor

Baker students and faculty hope to have reliable access to high-speed wifi as soon as an upgrade to 1 gigabyte service kicks in.

For many students, the campus wifi system has been an ongoing source of frustration since the beginning of the school year.

Students have been visiting the help desk and sending in work requests hoping to get functioning wifi in dorms and not just in the library.

”I had to go out and buy a 50-foot Ethernet cord so I can do my homework in my room,” junior Cody Gregory said. “I just want them to get this system figured out.”

Vice President for Strategic Planning and Academic Resource Andy Jett sent out a campus-wide email this week assuring students that “we are very close to turning on the 1GB fiber to the dorm environment first and then later on this semester to the remainder of the campus network.”

During the summer, the university announced that RG Fiber, a local tech company, was bringing gigabit broadband service to Baldwin City, with Baker being its first official customer. The goal was to improve bandwidth to reach speeds of 1,000 megabits per second, which would exceed the older system’s connection speed of approximately 350 megabits per second.

Before the upgrade, Baker had to update older technology including access points, routers and switches inside student residential areas in order to gain 1GB compatibility. This process created many of the connection problems.

“Because of that we were delayed over the summer getting 1GB, and because of that delay we were delayed in getting equipment ordered,” Jett said.

With the new installations, problems continued between Baker’s network and the RG Fiber’s network.

“Those two networks did not like each other,” Jett said. “And that was not expected.”

After several weeks of troubleshooting, Jett is still confident RG Fiber is the right choice for Baker. He said RG Fiber was able to provide an “open-mesh technology for students” within the means of Baker’s budget.

Some students are recognizing these benefits, while other are still experiencing issues.

“It’s gotten better, and we actually get connection in the living room now,” sophomore Kyndall Williams said.

“The wifi is better, but I’m still not getting any connection on my phone, so I’m having to use most of my data,” sophomore Nia Madison said.

Jett and the computer services staff members understand the frustration students are having and are not taking the situation lightly.

“We took a risk so that we can have even better technology than we had before, and we went with a newer technology that had some unknowns,” he said. “Of course we feel horrible. This is not the service level we expect to give our students at all.”

Students and faculty have paid a price, but Jett said it was his decision to go from bad to better so that the whole campus will eventually benefit.

Students who are having problems should send in a service ticket to the tech desk listing their residence hall and type of device.