Slow wireless connections across campus


Increased frustration with the speed of wireless Internet access across campus has students and staff alike questioning why the slowdown is occurring.

For approximately two months, many resident students have been experiencing a slowdown in wireless speeds and general network congestion.

With increasing enrollment and resident students at RMU, the wireless network is now being utilized more than ever before. New wireless technology, such as iPads, netbooks, e-readers, etc., is also becoming explosively popular among students.

Randy Johnson, senior director of technical services at RMU, attributed the network issues to the quality of the hardware in many students’ purchased computers as well as an increased number of individuals who are now using the wireless network.

“Sometimes students find themselves a great buy on a laptop, which may not have the highest quality wireless card,” Johnson said.

ResNet implements a number of access points in the residence halls, but if a student possess hardware with a low-quality wireless card, it can reduce the signal strength that they can utilize.

Since wireless Internet was not implemented when the residence halls were built, their design is also a factor in some of the signal issues that may occur. The only residence hall that was designed and built with wireless Internet was Peter Salem Hall.

Unfortunately for Lexington and Concord, some locations in those buildings have low wireless signals, but ResNet is working to solve these issues.

Nevertheless, ResNet has implemented a number of wireless access points in the halls to minimize any problems like these. Additionally, wired connections always provide a more reliable speed than wireless connections.

“We do not have any specific out of control residence hall areas where network use is extremely high. Washington Hall does have a very high occupancy of students, but the amount of data used fluctuates everywhere,” said Brandon Hamilton, network administrator.

The Holiday Inn, where many RMU resident students reside, features a different network system that is not maintained by ResNet. ResNet does, however, try to assist with some of the network issues that some students face there.

“The Internet at the Holiday Inn is slow quite often,” said Stephanie Sims, who resides there.

According to the Robert Morris University Information Technology Facebook page, ResNet is currently seeking student input on their Internet access speed results.  RMU Network Engineer Dennis Jochmann said that the main issue is not enough students are reporting their network issues to the right department.

“Students haven’t been reporting problems to ResNet. We’ve heard of many issues from the dean’s forum and the president’s house, but not enough people have come to the IT Department,” Jochmann said.

Students are strongly advised to contact ResNet if they experience any network issues that are not immediately resolved. Any phone call made to the ResNet office automatically creates a problem ticket with your phone number, assuring students that their problem will be dealt with.

“Tickets are reviewed by nearly everyone in the department. The Information Technology Vice President actually looks at all of them as well,” said Johnson.

ResNet hours are Monday through Thursday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Walk-in appointments are always welcome at their office on the first floor of Lexington Hall. Students can also reach the office at 412-397-2299.


Have you experienced slow Internet connections on campus or at the Holiday Inn? Tell us in the comment section!