WiFi on campus changes

Krys Shahin, @Krysshah

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The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) sent out an email Sept. 4 notifying staff that the wifi on campus will be changing starting Sept. 16 and progressing to its final stage Jan. 1, 2020. These plans started early spring 2019 and are now being implemented to each campus. 

Starting Sept. 16 for College Guests, there will be a creation of a guest id/password for the “College-Guest” network that will be simplified using a new software product. The new software will auto-generate both a User ID and Passcode, which will be valid for up to 7 days. 

 Starting Sept 16 for Employees and Students. The Wi-Fi network will start to broadcast “College-Owned”, “College-Personal”, and “College-Onboard” which will replace the current wifi networks labelled as “College-employee”, “College-Wifi-Reg” and “College-Student.”

What this means is simply that students use will now be named “College-personal” for “connecting your personal devices to the wireless network,” according to the official statement given by Satish Warrier CCCCD Director of Information Technology. 

These changes will mostly be seen in the background or structure of the coding more so than to the person using the wifi. However, everyone on campus, including guests who occasionally come by will have to deal with the change.

 

“This change will affect everyone (staff, students and faculty), it will be noticeable in that we will have a new way for connecting your device to the network,” said Warrier.

The Information Technology (IT) department at Los Medanos College is aware of the issues students have faced with the wifi kicking them off. 

“There’s been issues with people getting in to the system so that will be changing,” said Carl Chiu, LMC IT manager. 

Currently, with how the system is set up, the wifi can or occasionally will kick whoever is on the network off and force them to sign up again after a period of inactivity.

“One noticeable change students will quickly see is that you only login one time during setup then you won’t have to login for another year. Currently you have to login over and over again sometimes multiple times during the day and this will be corrected with this upgrade,” said Warrier.

Other students mention how the wifi cuts out when they are in the lower levels of the core or in the furthest rooms in the Science Building. Members of the IT department have already thought this through and have a plan to combat these “dead-zones.”

“We are also beginning the work to expand the Wi-Fi network so more area of the college has better coverage and we needed to make it more user friendly and reliable before we expanded. We will now encrypt and segregate all Wi-Fi traffic to make college network much more secure,” said Warrier. 

To put this technical talk simply, this is a good change and we should not fear it. 

“This upgrade will allow you to connect your device to Wi-Fi much easier and you connect you will no longer have to keep login to Wi-Fi,” said Warrier.

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