CWU network engineers work to solve campus connectivity issues – The Observer


CWU’s networks provide services to students, staff, and guests across campus, but when a sudden outage can be the difference between getting an assignment on time and having to hand it in late, it’s important to have a consistent connection.

“I’m getting to the point where I’m going to have to reconnect to things and do two-factor authentication,” said Sion Bailie, a junior geology student. “But because there is no Wi-Fi and there is no data in [Dean Hall], there is nothing you can do.

Bailie, who lives in an off-campus apartment, said they would spend more time on campus if the internet was faster.

“It’s a lot easier to connect with the people who are in my classes by staying on campus than it is to try to come home and do my plans and then go back to my other classes,” Bailie said. .

Nathan Pickett, another young geology student living in an off-campus apartment, also said he and his classmates would not go home to do their homework if the speeds on campus were sufficient.

“I hear it from a lot of other people as well,” Pickett said. “People come home to do their homework sometimes just because it’s so slow. “

Senior Campus Network Engineer Chris Timmons said he recognizes the value of good service and maintains an ongoing dialogue with campus buildings and departments on how they can improve.

“From my perspective as a network engineer… we want Central to be a welcoming place and wireless is one of those things people use when they’re here,” said Timmons.

According to Timmons, a project the university is working on concerns a capacity issue between the core campus and the far north of the campus. To solve this problem, the university is installing additional fiber optic cables.

“It won’t necessarily improve service,” Timmons said. “But it will make it easier to add more services later. “

Timmons said they are also working with the Housing team in the Barto Lobby to replace all access points, which will improve connectivity.

“The pandemic has kind of upset the timeline that we were looking for,” Timmons said. “But that work will likely be done in the calendar year 2022.”

Timmons said that ultimately these decisions come down to the money and the decision-making by the college’s superiors.

“The challenge is that there is so much infrastructure and relatively less money,” said Timmons. “Educational uses are competing for those dollars, so it’s something that executives have to decide based on need. “

If you or someone else on campus is having trouble with your connection, Timmons said you should contact IT helpdesk.

“If you have these issues put in a ticket and someone will take a look,” said Timmons. “I hope we can improve it.”


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