By AJ McDowell
Students and staff at the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) will start 2014 with faster and more secure access to the Internet. The current access points were upgraded last semester as part of a process that began over the summer of 2013.
The overhaul is a result of increased use of wireless devices on campus. Students are using cellphones and laptops to connect to the Internet for school and recreational use, causing peaks of nearly 15,000 concurrent connections.
The older 802.11n devices have been replaced by AP-225 802.11ac models.
Mourad Michael, the assistant director of communications infrastructure at Ryerson, says that the upgrades mean that access points are spread out across TRSM to limit the overload certain access points may face.
“They are situated on all the floors, hallways, lecture halls and the lobby,” Michael said.
There are a total of 237 access points in TRSM now; the final ones were added in November 2013. There is now higher-end connectivity in the building. The new access points boast faster and more secure connections with mobile devices. At the moment, user can download at speeds of 600 megabits per second, but after the upgrades, users should expect speeds closer to 800 megabits per second.
In addition to increased support for students, the university plans to use the new networks to implement wireless cash registers and assess how students and staff use wireless Internet.
Ryerson has been working with Aruba Networks for wireless technology since 2004. According to the company’s website, the new network uses ClientMatch technology, which connects the user’s device to the most convenient access point based on his or her location. This new technology will improve connection strength by spreading out connections and lightening the load on high traffic areas, such as TRSM or The Hub in the Podium Building.
While the upgrade looks necessary on paper, many students don’t have complaints about the current network.
“I’ve never had any problems with the Wi-Fi,” Lowell Williams, a second-year business management student, says. “It gets a bit slow during peak hours, but even then it’s not that bad.”
The upgrades are primarily happening at TRSM, but some older models from around campus will also be replaced. Jorgenson Hall, the Student Campus Centre, the Theatre School, 111 Gerrard St. E. and 415 Yonge St. will face similar upgrades and additions by the end of next month.