New Wi-Fi infrastructure plans to be completely installed by fall 2017

A new campus Wi-Fi contract has been signed and the new system is on track to be completed before the fall semester, the Vice President of academic technology said.

Pete Marcoux announced the signage of the new contract at an Academic Senate Meeting on Tuesday, April 18.

“It’s just started to get kicked off. They anticipate August 2017 completion, so prior to the start of the fall semester,” Marcoux said.

They’re taking a phased approach in installing the new system.

“They’re going to start with the most populated buildings, the newer buildings,” Marcoux said.

Arthur Leible, Ph.D, Chief Technology Officer, said that they had been working on getting a new internet system for over a year.

Leible said 35 of the new units that were bought are high-power external Wi-Fi points.

“We have eight just for the stadium itself, the external (units.) We’ll be putting some up at the softball fields or volleyball fields. All the buildings will be covered,” Leible said. “I think we’re even putting one up to cover the warehouse in case someone is working there.”

The number of Wi-Fi access points will be increasing by an estimated 500 percent.

“We are going from about 150 older access points, like first generation, to 750 current generation,” Leible said.

This is good news for students, who often have trouble connecting to campus Wi-Fi, especially in places like the Library.

“The Wi-Fi here is terrible,” Maya Avineri, 19, arts major, said. “Places like the Library, where you’d expect to have the best Wi-Fi, sometimes don’t have any connection at all. It’s really inconvenient for students who spend a lot of time on campus.”

Progress is moving somewhat slowly, but units began arriving on campus in May.

“Those units should start showing up on campus next week and then following that they should be able to start actually installing them,” Leible said. “The fact that we’re still in the semester, we have to go empty classroom by empty classroom and wait, because we aren’t going to disrupt any classes.”

Once the project is fully underway, it shouldn’t take too long to install all the new units.

Lieble said once the two largest buildings, the MBA and Humanities are done, it shouldn’t be hard to complete the project.

The new system should cover every building on campus.

“The antennas should be able to go from Manhattan Beach (Boulevard) all the way to Redondo Beach (Boulevard) without dropping signal, losing signal, or having to re-sign in,” Leible said. “It’ll be a seamless coverage area.”