Loss of Wi-Fi connection has been an issue affecting students since the beginning of the semester. Only until Friday morning students were able to start accessing Wi-Fi around the campus.
20-year-old Rosemary Vilanis, business administration major, realized there was a problem with the Wi-Fi when she saw a sign in the library saying that the service was not available. She also noticed that the wireless connection was not working in the 400 building.
“Students need this service in order to do their homework, to check their notes and for their research papers. Students depend on it,” Vilanis said.
19-year old student, Hadel Kafi is one of the students who lost points for submitting her homework late because the Wi-Fi connection went down unexpectedly on campus. She couldn’t log in to the wireless network through the laptop she borrowed from the Library, nor was she able to access wired computers because of the long waiting lines. By the time she got home, an hour and a half away from campus to do her homework, she submitted it late.
“My teacher said she received an email stating that there was a problem but that was not an excuse for late submission, next time they should let us know there is a problem so that we can do our homework at home,” Kafi said.
The library communicated with Academic Computing Technologies, ACT and notified the students that there appeared to be a campus wide problem. During the days that Wi-Fi was down, many students were asking the reference desk, help desk and circulation desk how they could connect to the Wi-Fi. The Library tried to accommodate the students with desktop wired computers when the Ethernet cables did not work either.
“One student told me, ‘You guys had the whole break to get things ready.’ For the most part, students were frustrated, but showed a lot of patience and understanding,” said Jane Ishibashi, Circulation Librarian.
Co Ho, Manager of System Technology Services said Wi-Fi is provided for personal use not for instructional use. FC is providing Wi-Fi service free of charge for the convenience of its users, compared to other colleges that charge students for using this service.
“The wireless service is not a mission-critical service for the campus, It’s not like mygateway or other banking systems,” Ho said.
The problem started in Jan. 28 and based on the number of notifications, the Wi-Fi connection problem reached its peak on Jan. 29. Ho immediately informed the staff, faculty and public relations on campus to inform everyone. As of Feb. 10, the situation has improved somewhat with over 600 users currently connected, compared to the 1500 concurrent users Fullerton College wireless system usually provides.
Fullerton College Academic Computing and other vendor teams such as Cisco and Microsoft escalated the issue to the highest levels and have been collaborating to narrow down workable solutions.
Ho said, “that we will be able to solve this issue very soon.”