Thirty access points were installed throughout Paley Library to increase Wi-Fi capacity and quality for students. The improvements were made after students made complaints through social media platforms like Twitter, Systems Librarian James Bongiovanni said.
“Based on the feedback, it was pretty serious,” he said.
Bongiovanni said the installation cost about $30,000. The bill will mostly be paid by computer services, as the improvement was a joint venture between Temple’s library and computer services. Ongoing services like the monthly fee for Internet will be paid by Paley Library, Bongiovanni added. There are now about fifty access points including the new additions, which create the connections between students’ devices and the Wi-Fi.
“The connections are shared equally among the devices,” said Harsh Patel, a sophomore information science technology major and tech support worker at Paley. The more devices connecting to one access point, the less internet power goes to each, Patel said.
“The average person has two-and-a-half devices,” Bongiovanni said. “When they walk into the library, they have their laptop to connect, but then they also have a phone.”
Bongiovanni added access points have a limited number of connections and when there are too many, they effectively become unusable. Each access point has the ability to make about 50 complete connections. Each access point has the ability to make about 50 complete connections, creating 2,500 openings to connect throughout the library.
Access points have been added in areas where students typically congregate, like the second and third floors of the library, said Nassir Mahmood, a contracted technician Paley Library hired from Campus Safety Services Technology.
“The way the modem deploys Wi-Fi, the devices connect to it like they would a mobile tower,” Mahmood said.
When Paley opens at 7 a.m., most hardwired computers and seats are being used by students with devices within the first 30 minutes, Bongiovanni said. Patel, however, said he sees peak hours at around 10 a.m. when students “come in before class to print things out.”
Access Services Department Head Justin Hill reported a total of 2,257,288 visits to the library last year. This figure includes repeat visitors. Bongiovanni said around 8,000 people utilize the library every day.
“The first to arrive are the ones who make the strongest connections,” Bongiovanni said, adding as more people arrive, the connection becomes weaker as it splits through more devices.
With the improvements, however, not all problems have been fixed.
“We still get people who cant connect,” Patel said. “It’s mostly people with Apple devices.”
Patel added students will also have difficulty with their laptops that could connect one day but not the next, for unknown reasons.
“It has to do with the login information,” Bongiovanni said.
When students log onto the Wi-Fi, they access it by using their AccessNet username and password. Every six months, however, students are prompted to change their password and when they reconnect to the Wi-Fi, the network no longer recognizes them.
“You have to go in and have your computer forget the network, and then log in again with the new password,” Bongiovanni said.
Julie Christie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChristieJules.
Editors note: Tech support worker at Paley Library, Harsh Patel, is not the Web Manager of The Temple News.