October 22, 2019

AQ Blues: Residents Connecting Over Shared Wi-Fi Issues

posted on: Thursday October 3, 2019

Students can find the HelpDesk in the lower library for any technical problems.
photo courtesy of ihelp.providence.edu

by Peter Mazzella ’23

News Staff

While sophomores have been making connections in Aquinas Hall, their devices have been losing connection. This has caused frustration among residents who wish to use their devices in the comfort of their own room. 

Aquinas residents have been very adamant about their poor connection to the internet, complaining that streaming services buffer sporadically, making it frustrating to watch or stream anything.

Aquinas resident Owen Delaney ’22 spoke about the issue, stating, “I had to leave my dorm because I couldn’t load my homework. It becomes a problem when it interferes with my schoolwork, and you can’t get anything done because you lose connection so often.” 

Matthew Williams ’22 is also irritated by the lack of service in his room. He explains that these problems are limiting not only his academics, but also his ability to enjoy his downtime. Williams explains, “It seems that everywhere else we go the Wi-Fi and service are fine. Living in an outdated building, the least that should be expected is a decent Wi-Fi connection to do homework.” 

Many students acknowledge there is a problem with the Wi-Fi but do not know who to contact or what to do about it. 

After learning about the complaints and issues, HelpDesk information technology manager Jim Rizzo let the technical engineers know that there was a problem in the hall. 

He sent over two Senior Network Engineers, Terry Baron and Fritz Excellent. They went through the hall testing connection in different areas to help resolve the issue. 

While it was mentioned that over the last four years they have spent $1.5 million rewiring each dorm and establishing a stronger connection, there are rooms that do not experience the same level of strength. Students who are experiencing issues with their connection should contact the HelpDesk as soon as possible.

The problem was resolved by putting hotspots, or access points, in the rooms that receive a dull connection. This not only improves the strength of the Wi-Fi connection in individual rooms, but the hall in general.

The process of setting up an access point or hotspot in the room was seamless. After moving a few desks around and plugging in a wire, the connection was established, and, within minutes, there was a visible difference.

Rizzo commented that most of the time, complaints are never taken into consideration, which is why the information technology (I.T.) department often does not  know about these problems. “Unless we receive calls,” he said, “we do not know that there are issues in specific buildings, as we can see there are tens of thousands of devices connecting to our wireless networks without issue.”

The biggest problem is that students may not know the right resources to reach out to if there is an issue with their wireless connection. Rizzo emcourages students to call the HelpDesk, located in the basement of the library at (401) 865-4357 or email them at helpdesk@providence.edu.

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