UTS has finalized its plans to upgrade campus Wi-Fi in several high-priority areas. The $100,000 pilot project will occur gradually over the next few months, and is expected to be finished by May of this year. The project was first announced in November.

A total of 90 Wi-Fi access points will be either upgraded or added to 12 buildings on campus.

According to John Kearney, chief information officer with UTS, the process of expanding Wi-Fi should be “invisible” but “in some cases there may be momentary pauses in service.”

Classrooms, conference rooms and lounges have been identified as top priority areas.

A list of building upgrades is below:

DeGroote School of Business
UPGRADE: B105, B106, B107

Kenneth Taylor Hall
NEW: B104, B105, B102, B135
UPGRADE: B110, B121, B123

Togo Salmon Hall
NEW: B105, B106, B107, B120, B126, B128, B130, B125, B180, 122,187, 512
UPGRADE: TwelvEighty

Chester New Hall
NEW: B107, 102, 106, 104
UPGRADE: B180, 183

Alumni Memorial Building
NEW: B130, B130/E, B130/A

McMaster University Student Centre
NEW: Everywhere

Gilmour Hall
NEW: 108
UPGRADE: B107, B109, Council Chambers, 203, 206, 212

ABB
NEW: 136, 162

Psychology Building
NEW: 151,155
UPGRADE: 180

Art Gallery
UPGRADE: Everywhere

Burke Science Building
NEW: B119, B103, B155, B135, B136, B139, B142, 119,120, 117, 121, 115, 108, 106, 137, 138, 145, 147

John Hodgins Engineering Building
264, 376

Following an announcement of a $100,000 pilot project by UTS to improve wireless internet service on campus, the MSU has released a list of facilities that will receive wireless upgrades or expanded service. The Wi-Fi expansion will prioritize classrooms, lounges, meeting and conference rooms.

Feedback gathered in a student survey played a significant role in the decision-making process, said Huzaifa Saeed, VP (Education) of the MSU.

The survey garnered about 900 votes when the Wi-Fi working group met to discuss funding allocations, and has since reached more than 1,200 responses.

Notable service upgrades will take place in the basement and first level of BSB along with several rooms in TSH. The entire Student Centre is also expected to receive wireless internet connection.The working group comprised members from UTS, CLL, the University Library, Facility Services and the Registrar.

Originally, rooms 264 and 376 in the John Hodgins Engineering Building (JHE) were not included in the project despite many student survey-takers identifying JHE as needing Wi-Fi. The building will now be considered in the pilot project.

Ken Coley, associate dean of Engineering, explained that the faculty had spent a portion of their budget upgrading Wi-Fi throughout JHE in the past two years, so the faculty was not interested in allocating their own funds for further Wi-Fi enhancements in the building. However, the faculty has clarified that they will not impose restrictions on the pilot project.

“Wi-Fi in classrooms has not been a priority for Engineering but we are not going to stand in the way of UTS putting in upgrades in JHE,” said Coley.

Saeed said there will be extra funds freed up from the $100,000 pot if the MUSC Board of Management agrees to cover Wi-Fi in the Student Centre with the $1.1 million surplus in student fees collected for the building in 2010. That motion will be presented at the Board’s next meeting the second week of December.

Ron McKelvie, director of UTS, said final approval for the project will occur in December. It has not yet been confirmed when updates will be complete.

The list of building upgrades is below:

DeGroote School of Business
UPGRADE: B105, B106, B107

Kenneth Taylor Hall
NEW: B104, B105, B102, B135
UPGRADE: B110, B121, B123

Togo Salmon Hall
NEW: B105, B106, B107, B120, B126, B128, B130, B125, B180, 122,187, 512
UPGRADE: TwelvEighty

Chester New Hall
NEW: B107, 102, 106, 104
UPGRADE: B180, 183

Alumni Memorial Building
NEW: B130, B130/E, B130/A

McMaster University Student Centre
NEW: Everywhere

Gilmour Hall
NEW: 108
UPGRADE: B107, B109, Council Chambers, 203, 206, 212

ABB
NEW: 136, 162

Psychology Building
NEW: 151,155
UPGRADE: 180

Art Gallery
UPGRADE: Everywhere

Burke Science Building
NEW: B119, B103, B155, B135, B136, B139, B142, 119,120, 117, 121, 115, 108, 106, 137, 138, 145, 147

The MSU is bringing back the #WheresTheWifi hashtag after partnering with UTS on a $100,000 Wi-Fi pilot project on campus.

New surveys on the MSU’s website and Facebook page were released Monday to gather feedback on which areas of campus are most in need of Wi-Fi.

Huzaifa Saeed, VP (Education), who sits on the Wi-Fi working group and is spearheading this year’s pilot project, says it’s an important step towards a larger-scale initiative.

The Wi-Fi working group consists of UTS, CLL, Library, Facility Services and the Registrar.

“I will be reporting to UTS later this week, and we will work out where we can spend the money,” said Saeed.

“I think it’s important for students to contribute, especially since Wi-Fi was such a big issue in the last [MSU] election,” he said.

In less than 24 hours, over 600 votes were casted on the MSU’s channels. So far, the Burke Science Building and Student Centre seem to be where most students have identified the greatest need for Wi-Fi.

The survey on the MSU’s website differs from the one on Facebook, providing a longer list of choices and asking for student satisfaction with Wi-Fi on campus.

Mukhtar Galan, current SRA representative (Engineering), ran with the slogan ‘Where’s the Wi-Fi?’ in his presidential campaign this past January.

Galan said he is very supportive of the pilot project and student poll.

“There are a lot of empty tables and study spaces on campus that can’t be used because there’s no Internet connection,” he said. “We have good space, we just need to optimize it.”

“I was surprised to hear from so many first-years last year that they couldn’t connect to Wi-Fi in some common rooms,” said Galan. “I think that’s a problem.”

However, the cost to expand Wi-Fi in residences is closer to $500,000, says Saeed, so it wouldn’t be feasible as part of the pilot project.

“After the project, [the MSU] will be submitting a multi-million dollar proposal to the University for Wi-Fi upgrades on campus,” Saeed said.

UTS’s website states that areas eligible for University funding are public gathering areas for students where there is seating or workspace. This includes lobbies, libraries and lounges.

‘Out of scope’ areas for Wi-Fi funding by UTS are classrooms, administrative areas, and faculty and staff offices. Wi-Fi improvements for these areas can be secured through departmental or project funding if available.

Discussions to improve Wi-Fi on campus, in addition to other technological services on campus, have been ongoing for years.

Last year, MSU President Matthew Dillon-Leitch and executives worked to get UnivMail undergraduate e-mail accounts migrated to Google.

The University’s ERP (enterprise resource planning) project was also announced last year. The purpose of the five-year project is to modernize and streamline McMaster’s outdated business processes.

The initiative entered the ‘fit-gap’ stage earlier this month. During this stage, members of the implementation team will examine how the selected PeopleSoft software fits McMaster’s business process needs, and where there are gaps.

 

 

 

 

 

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