WiFi at Humber to get a boost

Published On October 4, 2013 | By HN Staff | News

Poor Wi-Fi SignalBy Lily Tran

We’ve all experienced the rollercoaster relationship with the Wi-Fi connection on campus. Great signal, poor signal or no signal, the Wi-Fi service has many students and faculty in despair over the quality of service.

Humber Technology Services is working on expanding its Wi-Fi reach to provide more coverage to students and faculty.

Steve Camacho, the director of Technology Services at Humber said frequency signals, antennas and Wi-Fi enabled devices all contribute to the quality of connection on campus.

Signal Shortcomings

Patricia Law, manager of public affairs at Rogers said via e-mail that large buildings on campuses can face a variety of problems when it comes to poor signal.

“Factors that could impact signal strength and performance can include the distance from the source or router, (physical) obstacles like walls or type of building materials, and other wireless or radio signals,” said Law.

Law also said, “more access points to the Wi-Fi network (e.g. more routers) and placing them closer to the people who connect to them” could help boost wireless signals.

“Wireless repeaters (or wireless range extenders) can also boost signal strength and increase range.”

Room for Growth

Here at Humber, Camacho is doing just that.

Camacho said Humber will be moving towards a better model that will help boost those Wi-Fi signals.

“We’ve invested heavily in our Wi-Fi network over the last few years,” he said.

Camacho said Humber’s connectivity has evolved a great deal, in terms of WiFi access.

“From 2005 to now, we’ve grown a thousand percent in antennas,” said Camacho. “We started off with 50 antennas and now we have over 500.”

He said Humber is looking to expand within the next year.

“We’re going to move to a high density model which means we’ll be seeing antennas in the classrooms and in the hallways. Sometimes doubling or tripling them.”

The number of students and faculty who use devices to connect to Wi-Fi has grown about 30 per cent over last year, and Camacho said more than six thousand devices found their way online via Humber’s networks, and that figure is only going to go up.

“Between March and now, we’re seeing over eight-thousand devices on the network.”

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