Kean’s wifi upgrade gets mixed reviews

Thousands of devices could potentially use Kean's wifi. Credit: Christopher Ross via Creative Commons

Thousands of devices could potentially use Kean’s wifi. Credit: Christopher Ross via Creative Commons

By Elijah Powell | Published Sept. 27, 2016

Last year, many students had negative experiences with the wifi connection at Kean University, and over the summer the system underwent some changes.

According to the Higher Ed Tech Decisions website, Kean switched from a centrally controlled legacy network to an “Avaya LAN 9100 Series,” with the intention of preparing for the incoming student population who now connect to multiple devices for academic use.

It’s been a few weeks since classes began for the Fall semester, which is just about enough time for students — both residents and commuters — to judge this supposed improvement. So far, it has mixed reviews.

“It’s still not the best, but it’s de nitely better,” said Katyana Deleon, with her friends sitting around her nodded in agreement.

Some students like senior commuters Brook Rodrick and William Weaver say they “haven’t even noticed” a change from the previous school year. Roderick and Weaver said they shut of their LTE connection while on campus because of past experiences with Kean’s free wifi where it disconnected at random, causing their phones to use data instead. Depending on the service provider and data plan, random cut-o s like that can mean expensive overage charges.

Phone connection is not the only factor. Many students bring laptops, and residents bring personal wireless routers and video gaming systems that sometimes require internet access. Depending on who you ask, this may add to the inconvenience.

“There were a few interruptions and it took us ten minutes to connect [our devices] when we rst moved in, possibly because of people having their own hot spots,” said Patrick Misale, a junior who lives on campus.

However, Misale and his roommate both own Playstation 4 gaming consoles, which they report have connected well.

Sophomore resident Chauncey Patrick who owns an Xbox One, also gave positive remarks regarding the wifi connection to his gaming console. But when it came to his Iphone, Patrick had a different story to tell.

“My phone got worse, and my laptop is slow too,” said Patrick said, who uses AT&T as his phone service provider.

Mike Daniel, a junior who commutes, was one of the students who kept his LTE turned o for fear of random wifi cut o s, but his friends surrounding him during the interview laughed about it, saying they considered his service provider, T-Mobile, as the unreliable service. Another T-Mobile customer, Junior commuter Katyana Deleon, said her wifi at Kean was working pretty well.

On the U.S. News & World Report’s website, Kean University reports a total undergraduate enrollment of 11,814. If the average student brings a smartphone, a laptop, and a tablet, that means there are about 35,442 devices that need to be connected.

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