Campus News

EITS begins piloting new wireless improvements in residence halls

Russell Hall residents returned to campus after spring break and found a welcome surprise—faster Wi-Fi—and similar enhancements are coming to additional residence halls in the coming months.

Technicians with Enterprise Information Technology Services installed more than 300 wireless access points throughout Russell Hall over spring break.

The pilot came after EITS began reviewing student feedback from various sources, including help desk tickets, that signaled inconsistent wireless service in the residence halls.

Working with University Housing, EITS conducted a survey in January asking all students living in the residence halls to give feedback about PAWS-Secure wireless in their residence hall. Almost 40 percent of residents completed the survey. Based on results, Russell Hall was selected as the best option for a pilot.

“The exceptional response rate from students gave us the leverage to move quickly to produce a technical plan to make significant wireless enhancements in the residence halls,” said Timothy M. Chester, vice president for information technology.

Once students returned from spring break, EITS sent a follow-up survey to Russell Hall residents asking for their experience with the wireless ­improvements in the building. The nearly 1,000 students who live in Russell Hall have reported a significant uptick in reliable wireless service.

“The upgrade of wireless access for residents of Russell Hall has been an extremely positive and well-received enhancement to the students’ residential experience. Students seem to be very pleased from early reports,” said Gerard J. Kowalski, executive director of University Housing. “We are delighted to collaborate with EITS to support students’ academic success.”

EITS and University Housing are now laying out plans for wireless improvements at additional residence halls. During the summer and fall semesters, EITS anticipates installing an estimated 1,500 additional wireless access points throughout University Housing.

Like many other universities across the U.S., UGA has experienced a surge in the number of wireless devices on campus. In November 2015, there were 53,000 devices accessing PAWS-Secure wireless on campus. By March, that figure was nearing 70,000 devices on the wireless network. 

The wireless improvements in the residence halls are being funded by the Student Technology Fee.

For more information about wireless coverage on campus, visit