This archived article was written by: Les Bowen
This is the first year, Internet connections made available to students living in on-campus housing are only available through a wireless connection. Previously these connections were offered through a hard-wired Ethernet network.
A recent survey conducted by The Eagle revealed that most students are dissatisfied with their service though the new system and problems are not handled in a timely or adequate manner.
The survey was administered to 37 residents at their apartments/suites or in the cafeteria. Most students complained that their Internet connection was intermittent or slow. Of those surveyed, only five reported that they were satisfied with their connection. However, each of these five still complained that their connection was too slow.
“It’s not fair that they make us pay $40 a semester and it only works half the time,” said Marci Lynn, a resident of Aaron Jones Hall.
Speed was a concern for 12 residents surveyed. Kodi Hess, a resident of Burtenshaw Hall explained that his connection “doesn’t work half the time and when it does, it’s way, way slow.”
The speed of Internet connections may result in a webpage not loading fully because the connection will “time out,” meaning that the connection has been interrupted for a long enough period, that the server or client computer terminated the connection.
Another concern mentioned by residents surveyed was the availability of a connection. Some participants of the survey complained that their residents had intermittent or weak signals. Residents of Sessions Hall, for example, have discovered that due to the thickness and density of the cinderblock walls, the radio signals which carry the connection are unavailable in many areas of the building.
“At most, 50 percent of Sessions is covered,” explained Jeremy Jones, a resident advisor at Sessions Hall.
Another resident told The Eagle, “I know that the Internet works in two spots. A 10-foot radius around each of the hubs [is] the only place in the dorm it works.” She further explained that in the three years she has attended CEU, the Internet has never worked very well in the dorms.
Many Aaron Jones residents, however have intermittent connections or live in rooms outside the radius of the wireless transmitters. One resident or Aaron Jones Hall discovered that if she moved her computer to the common area of her apartment, the connection was more reliable, while if her computer was in her bedroom, the connection was completely unavailable.
“I need to use the Internet for research, and my parents are in Japan, and I can’t send them e-mail,” complained Haruyo Matsuyama, a resident of Aaron Jones Hall.
When students have problems, they are asked to dial extension 4357 and report problems to the help desk. While residents said the personnel were friendly, some reported that the problems were not handled in a timely manner, or that the personnel at the help desk did not know how to handle the problem.
Brittnie Leonard, a resident of Tucker Hall, finally received a refund. She claims that her problems were never taken care of. “I’ve never been able to hook to [the Internet].”
Travis Wiley owns a notebook computer, which he left with help desk personnel, who set his computer to connect to the Internet in the Reeves Building. However, he has never been able to get the connection to work in his Burtenshaw residence.
Some residents who lived in residence halls last year long for the speed and reliability of their Internet connections they had in their dorms last year.
Jenifer Jones, a resident of Sessions Hall said, “Last year it was faster, and it was half the price.”
Dustin Moore asked, “Why did they change it if it was working?” At least two other students also expressed their preference to have a wired connection over the new wireless system.
Internet connections are handled by and offered through CEU’s information technology department, headed by Eric Mantz, chief information officer, who did not reply to The Eagle’s request for information.