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Volume 72, Issue 34, Friday, October 6, 2006

News

Network reaches most of campus

University considers device to expand, optimize wireless capabilities 

by NADA ELSAYED
The Daily Cougar

Despite minor glitches, UH's wireless network remains up and running across campus.

The University's wireless network is a collection of access points throughout the campus. It was created with the goal of obtaining the most amount of coverage with maximum support for its users. 

Currently 20 campus buildings have full wireless Internet access and 22 other buildings have partial access. The University Center Satellite, the UC Underground and the Law Center Village all have partial coverage in certain parts of the buildings. 

Buildings without wireless Internet access include the Communication Building, the Fine Arts Building, the Fleming Building, Science & Research I, the Heyne Building and the Science Building.

The newly completed Welcome Center/parking garage is among the buildings with partial coverage, while Settegast and Taub halls do not have coverage. 

"The wireless network is set up access point to access point, not building by building," Charles Chambers, manager of Network Planning and Development, said.

Installation of the wireless Internet started in the summer of 2001 after Tropical Storm Allison destroyed all the technology in the Law Center. It was then expanded to the rest of the campus. 

"It's a matter of size and money," Chambers said. 

Many changes have occurred in the wireless industry, including design. The University is considering a new device that would optimize performance by locating an area that lacks coverage and filling it. The new device would keep the network working with fewer interruptions. 

Any problems within the network are a result of equipment failure, inappropriate access points and network designs. 

"The wireless network is really helpful and saves me a lot of time," chemical engineering freshman Jair Leal said. "I rarely encounter it slowing down."

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