Campus Wi-Fi problems should have been addressed

Campus Wi-Fi problems should have been addressed (credit: Josh Smith/Forum Editor) Campus Wi-Fi problems should have been addressed (credit: Josh Smith/Forum Editor)

Students, faculty, and staff found themselves without consistent wireless internet access across campus on Monday and Tuesday. Although both of the campus wireless networks — “CMU” and “CMU-SECURE” — were left on and broadcasted as available, neither host would assign IP addresses to computers trying to reach the internet.

On a campus as technologically focused as Carnegie Mellon, two days without Wi-Fi is a significant inconvenience.

Students with laptops or wireless devices need Wi-Fi on campus to access Blackboard and submit assignments. Many professors count on wireless internet for in-class demonstrations and lecture notes. And almost everyone on campus uses wireless internet to check emails and follow events while on the go.

We understand that the internet connection may have been knocked out by the inclement weather Pittsburgh received from Hurricane Sandy, and perhaps the disruption to campus Wi-Fi was unavoidable.

However, the school’s silence on this issue has been disappointing. There was no acknowledgement of the internet issues during the internet blackout and no notification or apology afterwards.

Nobody knew what was happening. Students did not know to buy ethernet cables, professors did not know to avoid wasting class time trying to connect to the internet.
Little-to-no notification has been sent out to students regarding the issues with connecting to the internet on campus.

Computing Services sent out an email on Sunday offering to help students connect their devices to the “CMU-SECURE” network, but the notification never mentioned the connectivity issues from early last week.

While being without Wi-Fi for two days is not an emergency, the administration should not get into the practice of staying silent on campus-wide inconveniences.
The collective impact across all of the university community warranted some notification about the knocked-out Wi-Fi.