Campus News

North Campus wireless improvements extend classroom beyond building walls

A student studies on a bench on North Campus. (UGA file photo by Dorothy Kozlowski)

Working and studying outdoors on UGA’s campus is now a little easier, thanks to a recent project by Enterprise Information Technology Services to improve outdoor wireless performance.

During the spring and summer 2021, EITS technicians updated the wireless infrastructure and access points servicing five areas on North and Central Campus.

These areas included the Old College quad, the Main Library quad, Herty Field, the area in front of the Miller Learning Center and outdoor areas around Tate Student Center.

Bollards containing wireless access points were installed at strategic locations around North and Central Campus, with fiber optic cable running underground between them. Bollard locations were chosen and access points configured to provide optimum coverage across each area. The $417,000 project was funded by student technology fees, which help fund a variety of facilities and services across campus.

The outdoor wireless access points allow students to access online class materials, such as eLearning Commons and vLab, as they would in any other academic building on campus, extending the classroom beyond building walls.

The additional access points also allow students to stay connected as they move about campus. Already, the new access points installed near the Lumpkin Street crosswalks between Bolton Dining Commons and Tate Student Center see spikes of upward of 100 connections throughout the day as students pass through the area.

Additional work is planned for this year to expand wireless coverage in the outdoor spaces north of Meigs Hall, along Herty Drive, and the greenspace on the north side of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

As the weather cools and autumn begins, students are starting to take advantage of the enhanced outdoor wireless.

“I usually go out to the Main Library, but it’s a nice day outside today,” said Daniel Kassis, a third-year real estate major, studying on North Campus in early September. Kassis said he’s normally using wireless to access Zoom or eLC, or to check email.

Laura Flores, a second-year graphic design and advertising major, agreed. “Typically, if I do study outside, I study on North Campus,” she said. “I would say that the wifi is better than last year.”