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HT’s Got Wifi on the Mind

Student+Holly+Rugar+stresses+about+her+poor+internet+connection+when+at+school.
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HT’s Got Wifi on the Mind

Student Holly Rugar stresses about her poor internet connection when at school.

Student Holly Rugar stresses about her poor internet connection when at school.

Tess Fargo

Student Holly Rugar stresses about her poor internet connection when at school.

Tess Fargo

Tess Fargo

Student Holly Rugar stresses about her poor internet connection when at school.

Tess Fargo, Staff Reporter

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Is your wifi working? Lately, many have been asking this question, wondering if the wifi has repeatedly slowed down or altogether stopped working. The IT team, after hearing of these connectivity issues, has addressed and improved the wifi in many different ways.

Sean Hassling, a member of the IT department, is in charge of handling wifi and solving issues related to it at the school.

He has worked tirelessly the past few months with the goal of improving the wifi system and providing better service to the students so they can focus on school work without having to worry about the connection slowing their progress down.

“You all as students are our first priority making sure that you all have what you need to do your job, which is to learn and go on to do great things and hopefully become our future leaders,” said Hassling.

Some of the first changes being made are very simple, but they have had a large impact on the quality of our wifi.

“We started replacing cabling, switches and we’ve replaced all of the wifi access points. Right now we are working on two things. First of all, Spectrum, who provides us with our internet, has been not forthcoming, so we have slowly gotten them to replace different things that have been causing issues. In addition to that, we have been working, in terms of our network, on the configuration,” said Hassling.

Multiple access points, which are devices that allow a computer or phone to connect to it in order to access the wifi, have been added all around the school. The majority of these were added to the 200 and 600 buildings where the wifi connection has been spotty, at best, in the past.

“We’ve relocated and added access points so we have the ability to authenticate over 200 people at a time now. We have heard a lot less issues since doing that,” said Hassling.

This reconfiguration of the system’s receptors happened in early November and the access points were added and moved to Sarah O’Connor’s, Anne Lahr’s, and Sarah Tricano’s rooms. The IT department is using heat maps to show where connection is poor and where it is the strongest to try and help them figure out where new access points need to be positioned in order to strengthen and even out the connection.

“It allows us to figure out where we need to possibly add an access point or move one. So after we performed the heat map, we went around and realigned some of the access points,” said Hassling.

While the school is being proactive and trying to solve all of the wifi problems with the best of their ability, some of the issues the school’s faculty are dealing with are out of their hands.

“We [administration] work tirelessly to try to address this issue and sometimes is is out of our control,” said president Dr. Katherine Cobb.

One of the things that the school had absolutely no control over occurred about two weeks ago, when lightning struck the school’s cable box, which was a major setback for not just the wifi but all other devices and operations at HT as well. Another issue that Hassling has been trying to sort out is that of the schools wifi service from Spectrum. The service HT is paying has not matched the connection quality we have seen recently. The IT department is doing everything they can to help fix the situation with Spectrum as well as the wifi issues individual students are having here at school.

A mailbox was created for students to use so when they may have wifi or connectivity issues, an IT staff member will be there to help them through the problem and fix whatever may be going on. Students can send an email to [email protected] if they ever have issues with anything regarding their wifi connectivity on their device. The IT department is happy to help solve any of the wifi problems students may be having because it helps them find more solutions and get suggestions from students on further improving the wifi system.

“I would be happy to get feedback … all of the information is looked at and we do try to take action based off of what we’re seeing,” said Hassling.

“It is important that you all have the tools you need. We all realize that, in IT, the amount that we are committed to making sure that you all have what you need is insane. I’m not worried about ‘well how does this affect me,’ I’m worried ‘how does this affect students’ and how does this affect your bottom line and doing your job as a student,” said Hassling.

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