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OIT tackles WiFi outages and takes steps to prevent more from recurring. (FILE)

Last year's Wi-Fi problems prevented by OIT upgrades

At the beginning of last academic year, an increase in devices led to Ohio University's router to become overwhelmed — but this year has been different despite even more devices being on campus. 

New upgrades and redesigns installed last academic year by OU's Office of Information Technology have made this year a little more successful. 

"We took a series of steps to make sure our network can handle all of the devices students bring and keep up with the things students do with those devices," Sean O'Malley said in an email. "On top of the router upgrades and network redesign that fixed last year's capacity problem, we also increased the university's internet bandwidth, upgraded our wireless controllers and upped the maximum number of simultaneous login requests that our Wi-Fi can handle."

The technical difficulties students and faculty encountered in August 2015 were due to nearly 17,000 more Wi-Fi-equipped devices on campus than the previous year, which overwhelmed the office's router, according to a previous Post report

O'Malley said the total number of devices on campus this year, wired and wireless combined, is approximately 55,000. That is an increase from previous years, but the new equipment installed early last academic year has the capacity to handle all the devices, O'Malley said.

"In terms of how many devices we see on Wi-Fi, probably the best way to measure that is the maximum number that are logged in simultaneously," O'Malley said.

This year, there are typically a maximum of 24,300 devices using the Wi-Fi at one time. Last year, the maximum was about 23,100, and the year before it was about 22,900. 

"There are likely many more devices than 24,300 – all of them just aren't online at the same time," O'Malley said.

Some students who remember last year's problems have noticed a smoother experience using OU's Wi-Fi this year. 

"I haven't had too many issues with the Wi-Fi here," Sydney Richardson, a sophomore studying psychology, said. "A couple of times it would take a while to load things like social media apps, but not compared to last year. Last year was very bad."

Olivia Murphy, a senior studying biology pre-med, said she still experiences some problems but this year is an improvement. She added that it seems like people are bringing more Wi-Fi-equipped devices to campus.

"I'd say it was worse last year, but it still lags sometimes," she said. "I don't normally use my phone on the Wi-Fi, but I definitely think everyone has multiple (devices) they use."


Clarification: This article has been updated to clarify Sean O'Malley's full name.

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