Wi-Fi providing problems for students

Nathan Bottiger, Editor-in-Chief

Pitt-Johnstown officials announced last semester that the university’s Wi-Fi upgrades were nearing completion, but some students continue experiencing problems while connecting.

President Jem Spectar sent a campuswide e-mail Aug. 31 saying the project was in its final stages, which promised wireless installations in common areas and residence halls.

Sophomore Logan Corle said he feels the university has more work ahead to complete the upgrade.

Corle lives in a room near the end of his Living/Learning Center hallway. He said he is constantly disconnected from the Internet, especially on smaller devices such as his iPod.

Some students found a loophole around using Pitt Net, using another Wi-Fi port called conference guest, but this is available to those only in a particular part of the building.

Corle said he doesn’t have a problem with the speed of the Internet.

“It’s decent but not the greatest.”

Corle said most of his problems arise while using his smaller devices, but the problems persist when using his laptop, although to a smaller degree.

“Yeah, every now and then, I have to disconnect the Internet and reconnect it.”

Corle said he usually has issues when using his computer two to three times per week, but he experiences the problem on his iPod almost every time he uses it.

Corle said he thinks the installed equipment was not up to the necessary standard to accommodate the intended range of rooms.

He said he thinks running Internet from the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus hinders its performance.

Complaints have risen from some students living in the freshman dorms as well.

Freshman Matt Leger, a Laurel Hall resident, said his main issue with the wireless Internet pertains to its speed and reliability.

“I would say it’s rather slow and unreliable,” he said.

“It’s very convenient to have Wi-Fi, but sometimes it’s a real pain to get working.”

Leger said he thinks the main problem is too many people using the same port, occupying the bandwidth and slowing down Internet speeds for everyone.

Leger said he thinks students viewing streamed videos from Netflix use a large portion of bandwidth.

In Netflix’s help center portion of their website, they address problems with high bandwidth usage.

“Watching Netflix uses about 1 GB of data per hour for standard definition video, and up to 3 GB per hour for high-definition video,” the site said.

“This can create headaches for Netflix members that have a monthly bandwidth or data cap on their Internet service.”

Leger said some days are better than others, but it is highly noticeable on a day where the Internet speeds drop drastically.

“When it is running slow, it makes Skyping difficult, videos and movies are extremely slow and during really slow days most Web pages will fail to load.”

Leger said he still considers the Internet to be a valuable asset to his studies, despite its problems. He said he visited the IT department for suggestions.

“I asked the possible reasons why it is so slow and how I could have it run faster.

“They suggested if it is running really slow, either use a campus (computer) or try using an Ethernet cable.”

Leger said he began utilizing the campus computers whenever he needed a good connection for schoolwork, and has been satisfied with the results.

Leger said he hopes the problems are solved, but he knows attacking this sort of problem is not an easy task.

“I’m not really sure they can.

“Faster speeds would be fantastic and helpful, but in order to maintain campuswide Wi-Fi, I don’t think they could make it faster.”