Dorm Wi-Fi Changes From Restrictive to Enriched Student Experience
Poor Wi-Fi service can feel like being stuck in traffic. Endless waiting. Slow progress. If you’re a student living on campus at a university, this experience can be even more frustrating and isolating. “Wi-Fi provides a vital resource of comfort and connection for young adults living away from home,” says Rebecca Stein, assistant director for University Housing & Residence Life for Yeshiva University. “About 80% of our undergraduate students live on campus. It’s important that they have ready access to everything online that supports learning, recreation, and feeling connected to family and friends back home.”
Yeshiva University has four campuses in New York City. The Beren Campus, located in midtown Manhattan, has four dorms. The Wilf Campus, located in upper Manhattan, has three dorms. Between the two campuses, there are 840 dorm rooms that are home to over 1,600 students.
Despite the fact that there was an access point (AP) in each room, Wi-Fi coverage was unreliable. Students had trouble logging in. Service was slow. Connections dropped unexpectedly. “Students rely on the network for both recreation and academics. Complaints spiked around midterms and finals, when the Wi-Fi virtually collapsed under the pressure,” says Stein.
- Undergraduates students living in dorms had frequent problems with spotty Wi-Fi service
- Student login and authentication wasn’t integrated with the University’s central database
- There were multiple SSIDs in dorm buildings, all requiring separate logins
- There was no centralized management for the Wi-Fi network, making it time-consuming for IT to support the network
- 900 indoor RUCKUS Access Points
- 27 RUCKUS ICX Switches
- RUCKUS Virtual SmartZone Controllers
- Without increasing the number of APs, RUCKUS® Wi-Fi improved coverage, throughput and reliability
- Each student has a separate VLAN and personalized portal to register devices
- All authentication goes through the central Student Information System
- Students can move around the dorm without logging into multiple SSID
- The network is outsourced as a managed service to Privatel, saving the University money and internal IT resources