SU attempt improvements for library WiFi service ahead of exams

UCD IT Service’s have offered advice on improving the wireless internet connection on campus in light of student preparations for the December exams.

Due to complaints over limited wireless access at peak term times in the James Joyce library, SU Education Vice President James Williamson explained the support that IT services have put in place to help students gain maximum wireless access and said that “the only time that [the wireless] does come into trouble is around peak occupancy.”

IT services also maintain that connectivity can be impacted “due to high levels of simultaneous users.” To combat this, students are advised against congregating at selected locations within the library, such as laptop power outlets, as this crowds the base station that provides the connection.

Each base station only provides a limited number of simultaneous connections, so internet access is reduced when base stations are inundated with students at exam time. As access is available in all main areas of UCD campus, finding alternative locations to connect to the network avoids this issue of overcrowded wireless points.

IT services have also established a system for students to connect to UCD’s wired network throughout campus using network cables, so as to reduce the traffic going through wireless services. Students can register their laptop to the wired service via the UCD website under the IT services tab.

Williamson promised in his election manifesto to introduce network cables, which he has been trying to promote while working with IT services and UCD library to achieve. The use of wired network access points is recommended for the peak times during term when students are trying to access the internet en masse, and particularly in the lead-up to exam time.

Williamson also met with library staff for the first library committee meeting of term this week to follow up on his campaign promise to help improve a wireless internet service that is supposedly not meeting student demand.

Williamson will be meeting regularly with this committee to improve internet access: “I’ll be pushing for ways that that can be rectified, so that students are not put out by it.” He argued the importance of the quality of library service within UCD, saying “at the risk of sounding like a scratched record, the library is the number one priority for the Students’ Union. It’s the most important resource to students and it affects every single student on campus.”