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Update: UB Moving Forward on Better Wi-Fi

Article by Rachel Lim 

Published October 22, 2015

Say hello to better connections as UB’s Wi-Fi Boost project meets the growing demand for improved Wi-Fi networks on campus.

Rachel Lim (UB Student, Class of 2015) was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She is proficient in speaking and writing three languages- English, Mandarin and Malay. Rachel is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in business administration with a focus in financial analysis and marketing.

UB is currently in the process of upgrading our Wi-Fi to the latest and fastest standard, doubling the amount of access points in buildings across UB’s three campuses. As of October 15, 2015, the Computing Center, Natural Sciences Complex, Richmond Quad, Fronczak Hall, Baldy Hall, and the Mathematics Building have all been “boosted.”

Why the boost?

Members of the Wi-Fi Boost project team: Jerry Bucklaew, Network Architect; Adam Zangerle, Network Engineer; and Kevin Szlis, Network Engineer

People’s attitudes towards having Internet accessibility anywhere have changed since Wi-Fi was first installed on campus. Today it’s viewed as a necessity instead of a convenience. Although there is Wi-Fi coverage just about everywhere on campus today, UB community members have often experienced poor connections or slow speeds in many locations.

On average, UB students carry two to three devices with them, all connecting simultaneously to Wi-Fi. Devices connect to UB’s Wi-Fi networks over the air via radio frequency. When hundreds or thousands of people attempt to connect to Wi-Fi within the same space, the radio frequency spectrum bands becomes overcrowded, which causes connection speeds to significantly reduce.

Wi-Fi can run on one of two spectrum bands, 2.4 Ghz or 5 Ghz.  Thanks to Wi-Fi Boost, UB’s Wi-Fi will be upgraded to 5 Ghz, making it less prone to interference by Bluetooth, cordless phones and microwaves, which still run on 2.4 Ghz.

What’s going to be different?

Access points in all buildings receiving a Wi-Fi boost will be doubled to increase coverage. The Wi-Fi network will also be upgraded to the current, faster standard (for you techies, IEEE.802.11ac) for better speed and reliability.