UNLV wifi network upgrade improves connection stability


UNLV’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) updated the wifi network on Oct. 20. Devices should have more stable connection to the wifi with less frequent drops. 

The wireless LAN controllers were upgraded, which is what helps devices connect to the internet.

Matthew Kole, interim associate director of network development and engineering at OIT, said that it took some time to collect the data needed to determine whether a change to the network would be needed. Individual complaints turn into a pattern that needs to be addressed. Consistent complaints from the SSC buildings made Kole realize that the UNLV network itself needed to be updated. 

“We’re basically running the wifi for a small city, so we have to be careful in making decisions,” said Kole.

He stated that usually, wifi connection problems are device-dependent, but because of the pattern of many buildings having complaints, it was UNLV’s time to update.

“The consistency of the wifi connection was better before the upgrade,” said Stefano Rubini, Assistant Webmaster for the Scarlet & Gray Free Press. His job is to upload news stories to the newspaper’s website. “During the middle of the day, the connection drops out of nowhere sometimes, and there’s a wait to reestablish the connection just for the cycle to repeat. At night, it’s pretty consistent.”

A few days after saying this, Rubini and fellow webmaster Taylor Finelli were attempting to upload stories on campus in the evening and found issues with the wifi. They eventually gave up and decided to try again another time. 

Eduroam, the service that students and faculty on campus use to login to the wifi, is a separate system from the wifi network itself. Kole explained that it’s no different than connecting to your wifi network at home. With 35 million access points, or ways to connect to the wifi, time needs to be taken to determine whether changing something in the network will be beneficial or just make things worse.

“We never want to be a pain point for people using the wifi,” said Kole.`He encouraged letting the UNLV IT Help Desk know when there are issues because that is how OIT keeps track of the wifi performance and whether updates need to happen. The IT Help Desk can be contacted by phone at 702-895-0777, by email at ithelp@unlv.edu, or by visiting their locations at SU 231 and CBC B113.


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