ITS Expands Campus Wi-Fi Bandwidth

by JACK MELANSON, Staff Writer

Today, Wi-Fi is essential for the overall success of a college student. Being the outlet for both information and entertainment, JasperNet when running properly allows students to research for their classes, check their grades on Moodle or even watch Netflix to relax after a long day.

Lately, some students on campus have been experiencing slow Wi-Fi and other connectivity issues.

The problem is a combination of edge bandwidth and infrastructure, both of which continue to be improved by ITS.

“We now have about effectively two gigs worth of bandwidth and we are increasing that to 10 within the coming weeks,” Robert Moran, director of IT infrastructure, said. “And hopefully with 10 gig out on the edge and better pipes into the dorms and actually every dorm should have a 10 gig connection and we’ll be able to keep up with it better.”

Moran has been employed at Manhattan College for 15 years and works with the wireless connection on campus.

“I completely understand that students are extremely frustrated. We are taking that seriously. We’re throwing as many resources as we can at it to resolve the issue,” Moran said. “The administration has been taking this very seriously thankfully.”

Moran and the rest of ITS are well aware of the JasperNet issues and are working aggressively to fix them.

“We have been going piece by piece to improve our hardware,” Moran said.

“We had a one giga bit connection to the internet, which when we brought that online that was unheard of, even in a college our size,” Moran said. “We were fine for a while and specifically this year, we had the largest freshmen class I think in Manhattan College history. Unfortunately, not only do we have more people, every year students come with more and more wireless devices.”

ITS put in a new firewall over the summer and has replaced infrastructure in some campus buildings.

Although changes have been made, students still are having trouble connecting to JasperNet. One frustrated student is freshman Nick Colombo.

“[JasperNet] hasn’t really changed since the beginning of the year,” Colombo said. “Everywhere is spotty. It rolls in and out. It doesn’t really stay.”

“It’s important… I mean, how else are you supposed to research? Sure, books help but the internet is going to be much faster,” he said.

Colombo said that JasperNet is at its worst at night, “when everybody uses it back in the dorms.”

This is in fact true, as ITS confirmed that Netflix is often a third to half of the bandwidth usage on campus.

Other students have taken to Twitter to express their feelings about JasperNet.

“@MC_ITS JasperNet is the worst,” wrote Carly Corbett-Frank, and “Oh come on jaspernet don’t fail me now,” tweeted Liz Bruchansky. ITS responded to their tweets and apologized via Twitter to the unsatisfied students.

“The vast majority of students have been extremely patient,” Moran said. “We should always be helping students and making sure that they are having a good experience and that we are doing everything that we feasibly can.”

Moran also said that the most trouble is happening with residents of Horan Hall and with MacBook users in general.

“Horan is still a challenge, we’re working through it and putting a lot of resources into it,” Moran said. ITS also plans to install access points in each ten-man suite in Horan Hall to increase internet connection on every floor.

But not every building is experiencing the same issues. Patricia Sheridan works in De La Salle Hall and is an associate professor of business law at Manhattan College.

“I don’t have any problems anymore since the remodeling process,” Sheridan said of the recent renovations to De La Salle in which desktop computers and podiums were installed in most of the classrooms. “I’ve actually had good success with the equipment in the classes that I’m assigned to this year.”

“We [teachers compared to students] have different needs. It works just fine for classroom usage,” Sheridan said.

“It is something that we have to keep up with,” Moran said of ITS talking about the bandwidth and infrastructure of JasperNet.

“It’s a really cool age to be in. We have to keep up and keep supplying bandwidth,” Moran said. “They [students] want better service and they deserve better service. We’re gonna get there.”