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Tell Us About Your Wi-Fi at UB

By Joe Ferguson

Published September 1, 2016

Joe Ferguson (UB Student, Class of 2019) was born in Sacramento, CA, but currently lives in Lockport, NY. He is studying Marketing/Public Relations and Communications. He hopes to get a job in as a marketing person or PR agent for a California-based company when he graduates.

In case you haven’t noticed, UB’s three-year Wi-Fi Boost project has been improving Wi-Fi all across its campuses, building by building, area by area. And now, we want you to tell us how we are doing.

The new “Rate My Wi-Fi” interactive map lets you pick an area on any campus, including your current location, and rate the Wi-Fi there, anonymously. You can also read the ratings of others, see which buildings and areas have been upgraded so far, and find out when others will be.

Please note: This app is not a way to get immediate assistance. If you need help with your Wi-Fi connection, please contact the UBIT Help Center.

Behind the App

The team responsible for “Rate My Wi-Fi” is led by Michael Belus, Systems Software Programmer with Network and Classroom Services, part of UB Information Technology. “Rate My Wi-Fi is not just a tool for people to tell us how the Wi-Fi is on campus,” he said. “It is a tool for communication. People can quickly see what buildings are upgraded, when other buildings will be upgraded and see the overall schedule for the Boost project.”

How It Works

The tool uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to identify where people are using Wi-Fi and what their experience is. “GIS makes it easier to take Wi-Fi ratings and display them in a way that tells a clear story,” Michael continues. “It helps us understand people’s use of their Wi-Fi, and potentially helps us make better decisions about network design going forward.”

Beyond the Edge of the Map

“Rate My Wi-Fi” and its underlying GIS technology has potential beyond Wi-Fi feedback. GIS can be used in many contexts and IT is no exception. A few possibilities for the future may be to see locations of alerts and UBIT Help Center tickets in order to better assess how widespread problems are, or through the use of Bluetooth beacons for a wayfinding app inside campus buildings.

When asked about the future of the app, Michael told UBIT News, “We are in the early stages of seeing if it’s feasible to use a GIS app to track our fiber optic network within and between campuses, to easier locate our infrastructure in the field and when outages occur, know where the problem is quicker so we can respond promptly to it.”