Student advocates for better campus wi-fi

by Samantha Bratkon / Beacon Correspondent • January 28, 2016

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Elizabeth Skerry, sophomore marketing communication major.
Elizabeth Skerry, sophomore marketing communication major.

An Emerson sophomore created a Facebook group entitled “Emerson WiFi: We Insist Faster Internet” to advocate for better wireless on Emerson’s campus.

Marketing communication major Elizabeth Skerry said she has lived in the Colonial Building for the last four semesters. Skerry said she noticed the problems were significantly worse upon returning from winter break. 

“But I’ve noticed it across the board, like in other residence halls and other buildings across campus.” Skerry said. 

Skerry said that considering the cost of on-campus housing; including a meal plan, it costs over $15,000 a year—and she believes that internet should be reliable for students. 

Francis Frain, director of networking and telecommunications for Information Technology, said that there was a plan in place to work on the internet connection in the Colonial Building. Frain said due to the timing, however, of this winter’s intersession, the department was not given enough time to properly solve this problem. 

According to Frain, the college would like to put radio receivers in individual dorm rooms—rather than where they are now in hallways—because the current location causes the signal problem. To rewire the wi-fi, students cannot be present on campus so the problem cannot be solved until students have moved out for the semester in May, according to Frain.

Frain said he primarily works with Apple computers due to their popularity on Emerson’s campus. He found that students had the most trouble connecting on mobile devices such as iPhones and tablets rather than laptops, because the larger modules are more capable of receiving a wireless signal. 

Skerry created the facebook group on Jan. 15 and it currently has seven members. 

“This issue is past the point of crucial and it needs to be fixed now,” Skerry said in the post. “It is time for action to happen.”