Wireless Internet available and spreading on campus

Nicholas Sparling

The school’s first release of wireless Internet was on the second month of this semester in the library and as of the beginning of March, Wi-Fi has been fully up, running and available in the cafeteria.
Each access point can reach up to 150 feet before connectivity starts to drop off.
Right now, Jim McGee of Information Services has funding for 30 additional access points. McGee has spoken with the Student Government Association about where the most fruitful places to set up the access points would be over a month ago and has yet to get any feedback.
McGee has to have the access points put up by the first of June and is awaiting suggestions on the best places for them.
“Jim McGee has been trying to get Wi-Fi working on campus since the dawn of wireless Internet,” according to Karl Estill, SGA secretary.
The first month was all testing, “We are using the same wireless that is used on the CSUB campus. “They were our guinea pigs,” said Estill.
“We want the placement to serve the students and also be the most profitable for them,” said McGee.
Currently, SGA has access points in the Executive Board Room, the Collins Conference Center, the Fireside Room and a few in the Campus Center. SGA currently has funding to set up five more access points linked to the controller for maximum coverage.
The first major problem McGee had to deal with in supplying the campus with wireless Internet was an issue of security. He needed to allow the students to access the Internet and not the school’s network.
The second problem was cost.
The school has a controller that cost roughly $10,000 and can support up to 48 access points. The cost for each access point is $400, plus an additional fee to run the cable from the access point to the controller; the cost of the cable can range between $200 and $300, depending on the distance.
The access points have a life of 6-8 years before having to be replaced. The goal is for each department to have Wi-Fi, and both McGee and the Student Government would like to see fundraisers to help alleviate the cost. Even with the funds for the 30 additional access points, it won’t be enough to provide wireless to the whole campus.
“We’re trying to put the access points high and out of the way so people can’t spill Coke on them, unplug them or just walk away with them,” said McGee.