SFU Residence and Housing has received increased complaints about Internet access since it upgraded its service to include a wireless connection in dorm rooms this semester. The issues have caused frustration for some students and prompted the office to work to implement a solution.
“There have been times when I haven’t been able to connect to Wi-Fi on my phone, and I had to unplug the router and plug it back in to get a connection, again,” said Prabhdeep Dhaliwal, a student living in Barbara Rae House. “One of my friends living in residence didn’t have Wi-Fi for three weeks, he just couldn’t connect to it.”
Other residents, like Mayank Jha living in Shell House, cited reduced Internet speed as the main issue.
Last month, the Residence and Housing office acknowledged the issue on its website and suggested potential solutions for residents experiencing problems with their wireless connection.
Students moving into residence this semester were met with a surprise on move-in day with wireless routers in their room. This decision by SFU Residence and Housing, partnered with Shaw Communications, was a result of feedback from the residence community, according to Dana Beaton, the associate director of Residence Ancillary Services at SFU.
However, as the semester progressed students experienced issues with residence Wi-Fi. Students in residences across campus expressed frustration when issues with the wireless connection prevented them from completing online academic and leisure activities.
Holly Taylor, a student living in Pauline Jewett House, explained she has had the Wi-Fi connection drop during online quizzes in lecture halls and in her residence room. The students who spoke to The Peak generally agreed that the Wi-Fi in residence is still better than in other parts of SFU, despite issues with the Wi-Fi routers in their rooms.
The residences previously offered a wired modem and Ethernet cord for students who could choose to bring their own Wi-Fi modem to hook up to the system. The buildings also had a wireless connection available in the common rooms. The introduction of complementary Wi-Fi modems in each room this semester is part of a transition towards a single, building-wide system.
“We are working with Shaw to implement the full managed Wi-Fi solution as quickly as possible,” said Beaton. “Updates regarding the implementation of this service are posted to our website as we receive them.”
An email was recently sent to students in residence with troubleshooting tips, including to not use their personal router, to use the original username and password, and instructions on a factory reset. IT Services at SFU has also been able to help students with Wi-Fi issues in residence.
“Service issues on our interim Wi-Fi solution have reduced since the beginning of the term,” explained Beaton. “In most cases the issues have been disruption of service due to residents ‘personalizing’ the Wi-Fi network within their room either by adding a secondary Wi-Fi router or by changing the username or password of the router in their room. Any of these actions can cause a disruption to the signals of routers in the surrounding area resulting in a disruption of service.”
Those students who are still struggling with their wireless connection even after adhering to the above tips can contact IT Services or submit a maintenance request through the housing portal.