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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Internet at Raynor spotty, students say

Students struggle to receive strong internet connection throughout Raynor. Photo by Elise Krivit/[email protected]

Worrying about a stable Internet connection is the last thing any college student with piles of homework needs on their mind. According to some students, that’s not always the case in Marquette’s Raynor Memorial Library, where locations including the Bridge are allegedly facing sporadic connectivity issues.

But that’s news to IT Services, who say they haven’t received any formal complaints from students about the Raynor wireless system.

Julia DeBella, a sophomore in the College of Business Administration, is one of several students who told the Tribune she had trouble connecting to the Internet while studying on the Raynor bridge in recent weeks.

“It was just frustrating that on top of all my other homework, I also had to wait for a Wi-Fi connection,” DeBella said.

Mary Simmons, senior director of IT Services, said she is unaware of any current library connectivity issues students mention.

“We asked MUSG to bring up connectivity issues (in regards to the student body), but no one has complained about it,” Simmons said.

However, Simmons does admit inconsistencies in the availability of Wi-Fi are common, especially in computer-populated areas such as the Bridge.

If students are having Internet connectivity problems on the Bridge or elsewhere on campus, IT Services has support staff available at (414) 288-7799 or via email at [email protected]. However, those staff members are only available via phone until 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Ed Sanchez, head of Library Information and Technology, said he wished more students would come to the library help desk when having technological difficulties.

“We want to help students and we want to know about what issues they are having,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez said when students cannot connect to the Internet in the library, the circulation help desk is always available for assistance pertaining to on-the-spot or “simple fix” problems. However, other widespread issues that may impact more than one Internet user would require contacting IT Services, according to Sanchez.

DeBella thinks that the shaky Internet connection can be a big pain for students.

“I think the Wi-Fi situation is a big disadvantage to students,” DeBella said. “(Students) feel the Internet is unreliable.”

Simmons said when Marquette first initiated the campus wireless system, the university designed it according to the number of students who would use it then. However, since then, the number of students in need of wireless connectivity has grown substantially.

That increase in users is a possible explanation for spotty Internet connections. Dr. Dennis Brylow, professor of computer science, said “simple congestion” is the most likely cause.

“Wireless access points are designed to share bandwidth across many computers simultaneously, but every device has an upper limit on capacity,” Brylow said.

Brylow said the most stable Internet connectivity is “when there is just one access point, just one laptop, and not a lot of other electronic devices interfering on the same or nearby bands.”

The interference explains why students find may have connectivity issues around 3 or 4 p.m. (prime time for Internet use in the library), according to Simmons.

Simmons suggests when facing library Internet connectivity issues, students should first be aware of their surroundings (i.e. how many laptop users are present). If that number appears high, moving to a separate location with less Internet-users is beneficial, as there will then be “less Wi-Fi to share.”

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