On-campus residents return to upgraded Wi-Fi


Torrie Shuff

Senior criminology major, Amid Bautista stands in front of his laptop in Buddig Hall. Bautista is connected to internet through the new router installed in his room over last winter break.

Natalie Thomas, Staff Writer

The Information Technology Department upgraded the Wi-Fi systems in residence halls over the holiday break as a first step toward a campus-wide update to improve the speed and stability of our system and prevent future outages, according to Alan Schomaker, chief information officer at Loyola.

Phase two will focus on administrative and academic areas and will take place this spring and summer, Schomaker said. The university has been planning this upgrade for the last two years and has selected a company to host and provide Loyola’s Wi-Fi services, according to Schomaker. He also said that the bulk of the wiring and access point installation work in the residence halls that was completed during winter break also included a full review of completed systems.

Loyola students have complained about problematic Wi-Fi systems for nearly a decade. In 2015, a Loyola student created a Facebook group that protested the slow Wi-Fi, and it gained over 700 members. In 2020, The Maroon reported on a “five-hour-long Wi-Fi outage that affected students during finals week, disturbing the studying of many students and work of many professors.”

In 2021, Alan Schomaker said, “Loyola’s campus has a sufficient number of 1,068 access points, which are wireless routers with radios that allow devices to connect to the internet.”

However, problems continued to persist into the present school year as seen in an October 2022 email to students.

“With any technology or computer systems, updates need to be made regularly to software, firmware, and hardware. The hardware for the Wi-Fi network on campus is seven years old and has reached its end-of-life for support, so we have to replace all access points on campus,” Schomaker said.

As a result, Loyola has updated their network design – placing an access point in each dorm room of every residence hall on campus to provide increased efficiency, capacity, and redundancy.

The rollout of this network upgrade has been an investment of resources for the school and has primarily been handled by the IT department, Schomaker said. Schomaker added that any further inquiries or concerns should be made to the help desk which can be reached at 504.865.2255 or by email at [email protected].