As I'm sure you are aware, most people in the Linfield residence halls prefer to use WiFi for their internet connection. A few people continue to use wired connections but the expense of maintaining a wired port for everyone means we don't have as much money to improve the wireless connections.
With this in mind, we are going to do an experiment to test the feasibility of phasing out the wired connections. This will take place in two places on campus - Mahaffey Hall and the HP apartments. Please don't worry! This does not mean we are getting rid of wired connections. What we will do is leave everything in place, but unplug the wired connection in the network closet. Residents of Mahaffey and HP apartments that need a wired connection will simply contact ITS, give us your reason for wanting a wired connection and we'll hook you up.
How will you make that request? Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your room number, MAC address, jack number and the reason you feel you need a wired connection. If you are requesting a wired connection for a gaming device (xbox, playstation, etc.) please follow this link for additional information that is required.
This will give Linfield a way to gauge the demand for wired connections, the amount of work and delay in service it takes to accommodate these requests. Linfield will review the results of this experiment at the end of the 2012-13 academic year to see if we should move to this approach campus wide.
As an example of how this might all work out, there are over 100 wired connections in Mahaffey. In addition to the wire and jacks, there are 5 network switches in a communication closet in the basement that cost about $1700 each. If it turned out that only 24 people or less people needed wired connections, when it came time to replace switches we could save about $6800 dollars by replacing only one of them and spend the money instead on buying more and/or better WiFi equipment.
Why did we pick Mahaffey and the HP apartments for this experiment? Last summer Linfield loaded up Mahaffey with more WiFi equipment per person than any other resident hall on campus, all to help us better understand WiFi needs. This summer we’re doing the same in the HP apartments. We think there will be fewer problems with WiFi there and as a benefit for helping us with this study, you will get some of the best WiFi access on campus.
Thank you for helping us make Internet access for all Linfield students better.