Funds hold back full Wi-Fi coverage

Marcus Castro, Editor in Chief

Wi-Fi access and connection on the Bakersfield College campus is a topic that many students have opinions about, but there is more to Wi-Fi on the BC campus than they know.

Some students prefer not to use the college’s Wi-Fi.

“I don’t use it because it is very weak,” said BC student Raul Rodriguez, 18.

Other students use the colleges Wi-Fi because they like to take advantage of the things offered to them.

“I think it’s cool. I mean it’s free, so I’m not complaining,” said BC student Ismael Ramirez, 19.

When it comes to BC creating better connection and more Wi-Fi access on campus, there’s more to it than the average student may know.

Information Services Director Todd Coston explained that one of his goals is to create more Wi-Fi access around campus, but he said that there are certain things that slow down the process.

“Everyone just assumes that we have full Wi-Fi coverage on this campus. We don’t. We know we don’t. The reason we don’t is it always comes back to money,” said Coston.

Coston explained that one of the biggest issues is that many of the buildings on campus are made of concrete. So when a Wi-Fi access point is installed in one room of the building, it has a hard time getting connection through the concrete walls.

The concrete walls, as Coston explained, make it difficult to install Wi-Fi access points as well. The reason is that the wiring has to go through the walls. He said that it is very expensive to core through the concrete walls to install the Wi-Fi, and that there isn’t enough money to do that in every building on campus.

With the increase in students on campus this semester, there are more students using the Wi-Fi.

Coston said, “At any given point, we can have over 10,000 devices connected to our network.”

Even though there is room for many devices to be on the college’s Wi-Fi, the problem is that not all areas of BC have good connection.

Coston said that the areas lacking Wi-Fi are the Language Arts building, FACE building, and Horticulture Lab building.

Once again, the reason why there is not Wi-Fi in these areas is because the lack of funds to get it installed.

Coston said that some of the ways that certain buildings get Wi-Fi installed is through grants for that specific location.

“We leverage grants as much as we can, so for example, Science and Engineering they have Wi-Fi pretty much throughout the building, and it’s reasonably robust Wi-Fi because the grant was able to help us pay for the coring through the walls,” said Coston.

Coston explained that the Wi-Fi is improving in small increments as funding allows it to. He said that he hopes for the funding in the near future to increase, so that he can work on the Wi-Fi connection and access quicker than he can now.

Coston said, “I’d love to have Wi-Fi everywhere in tons of capacity.”