BY MICHAEL GALLEGOS
Updates to City College’s wireless internet service have simplified user access, boosted the network’s capacity and increased network speeds for students and faculty that use the service according to Tim Ryan, the network manager for City College.
The installation of new wireless hot spots around the Ocean campus has expanded network coverage and access has been increased five-fold from two thousand users to a maximum of ten thousand registered users on the 802.11b/g Wireless Local Area Network. The WLAN can reach speeds of up to 54 Mbps, but typically runs around 19 Mbps, according to Ryan.
On average, a device can access a hot spot as long is it is no more than 100 feet from a hot spot. These hot spots can be found at multiple locations on the Ocean Campus, including the 200 Series Bungalows, Smith Hall, Batmale Hall, the Student Union, Cloud Hall, the Visual Arts Building and Rosenberg Library. WLAN access is also available on the Evans, Mission, Southeast and Downtown campuses.
Further network expansion and installation of more hot spots is expected to happen in September, increasing the range and coverage of Ocean campus’ WLAN, making Internet access easier and more accessible while on campus.
Students and staff can access the free network by sign-up at http://www.ccsf.edu/wlan. Comprehensive instructions to register your wireless device, troubleshooting and answers to frequently asked questions are also available on the website. Registration take less then two days and each student or staff member can register up to two devices.
When asked, many students were not familiar with the free service available to them, or were not expecting to be regular users of the service.
“I didn’t know that free Wi-Fi was available on campus, but I would probably only use it if I had to, since I don’t usually travel with a laptop, “ said Andrew Sargenti, 20, a Sociology major.
Mary Jane Sacks, a 21-year-old Business Administration major was also unfamiliar with the wireless network, saying “I don’t think I would use it. My laptop is too heavy, and I already have a computer at home.”
The network requires users to have a wireless device that supports the security protocol WPA. Wireless devices such as the iPod Touch and iPhone are supported as well.
“The WPA key [the network uses] is not one hundred percent secure, but it definitely helps,” said Ryan.
“There is little threat of identity theft, [but] I would definitely recommend anti-virus and anti-spyware software.”
For users who are having trouble with the service, live support is also available Monday – Thursday, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. in Science Hall, room 37.