Evan Hierholzer, Managing Editor
The Student Government senate unanimously passed a resolution last week that outlined the pressing need for campus Internet improvement and proposed the means of implementation for an increase in the University of Dallas’ Internet capacity and speed no later than Thanksgiving break.
The initiative began earlier this semester when junior Will Chavey, SG president, approached John Plotts, vice president of enrollment and student affairs, regarding the improvement of campus Internet service. The issue was then brought up to the Student Concerns committee, chaired by sophomore Xavier Bick. Bick researched campus Internet capabilities and then wrote the resolution, which outlined the need for Internet improvement and included current statistics and recommended means for improvement.
Internet capacity and speed have long provoked student complaint at UD, and the SG’s resolution includes the general findings of satisfaction polls regarding the performance of campus Internet.
Before the passing of the resolution, Chavey said he was “getting texts every single day from people asking, ‘didn’t you promise to fix the Wi-Fi?’”
According to documents provided by Plotts, the school has already been taking steps to increase wireless Internet bandwidth on campus. The document indicates that the current bandwidth – 100MB – was reached by incremental bandwidth increases made every other year.
According to Chavey, the SG resolution represents an effort to have the administration make this kind of Internet improvement a top priority.
“We asked them to expedite what was probably going to be an ongoing process already,” he said.
According to both the resolution and the administration, the UD student body may expect to see concrete improvements to campus Internet by the end of the fall semester.
“President Keefe said that he hoped to at least double – and possibly triple – the bandwidth by January. This will occur along with the ongoing process of updating the Wi-Fi portals, which will improve steadily over the coming years,” said Chavey.
Part of the resolution outlined a more specific timetable for Internet improvements.
“In the resolution we recommended that the new Internet speeds be put into effect no later than the return of students from Thanksgiving break. The IT department was already considering this date for making a series of major changes to the network, and I think that our recommendation will reinforce that tendency, which is to upgrade the Internet speeds as soon as possible,” said Bick.
Additional hardware will be necessary to implement the changes, according to Bick.
“The equipment IT currently has is the primary obstacle for improving Internet speeds. The Internet speeds being delivered to campus by Time Warner are the maximum that current network hardware can handle. The first step towards improving the Internet speed is to replace that hardware with something that can handle greater speeds,” he said.
In the resolution, SG proposed Oct. 25 as a deadline for the installation of the new hardware. Since the hardware installation requires a period of Internet unavailability, however, changes will likely not be made until Thanksgiving.
By then, UD “will likely see the [Internet] speed increased by a factor of three, but probably not more than five,” said Bick.