Photo: Marissa Dederer

Internet overload

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By Sean Tepper
Associate News Editor

An increased amount of smartphones and tablets connected to Ryerson’s wireless network has caused poor internet performance and a number of connection problems across campus.

According to a Feb. 3 service alert posted online by the Computing and Communications Services (CCS), there were as many as 14 areas on-campus where students may have difficulty connecting to Wi-Fi access points.

These areas include: six of the seven floors in the library building, two floors in the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre and five areas near various lecture halls in Kerr Hall South and East.

“In the library building there’s no Wi-Fi there, and if there is, it’s really slow,” said Prya Chawla, a second-year medical physics student. Brian Lesser, director of CCS, says that this problem is a result of more and more students bringing electronic devices to campus and connecting to the same networks at once.

This has resulted in slower access and connectivity issues. At times, non-laptop devices such as tablets, iPods and smartphones represent 50 per cent of the campus’ internet usage.

“Over the last two years the number of devices connecting to access points have doubled,“ he said. “When they are walking around Wi-Fi zones they are connecting to access points. Areas that used to be OK are [overwhelmed].”

While Ryerson’s newer buildings were designed with this in mind, the older buildings are lacking the number of access points necessary to handle such traffic.

To combat this issue, Lesser says that more access points will need to be installed in those buildings and that two additional access points have already been installed on the first floor of the library building.

However, installing these access points requires network cables to be installed in the ceilings and CCS is in the process of deciding how to go about putting them in without disturbing classes.

“In some areas there’s no quick fix, but in other areas there are,” he said. “In a week or two we’ll have a much better picture of what [we’ll do].”

Until then, students will continue to experience problems in connecting to the internet. “It’s hard to connect to the Wi- Fi and it’s not very strong,” said Shannon Todd, a fourth-year arts and contemporary studies student.

“I always use the internet to get into RAMSS in class.”

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