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Wifi Coverage in the WAC Bennett Library

Published by Dipa Barua

Q. I was at the Bennett Library today, and unfortunately, the wifi signal was very poor on the 3rd floor and I was unable to connect. I spoke to a staff and learned that some areas of the library do not have
usuable wifi signal. I think this is crucial information that is not readily available to the visitors. It would be great if the library can create a map of wifi signal strength, clearly marking the dead zones.

A. The seating area on the 3rd floor should be well covered. Perhaps there is a problem with the access point in that area. Could you let me know the specific location you were sitting and I will have the access point near that area checked out.

FYI, the library actually has pretty good coverage throughout. Students don't waste much time walking around trying to find a good signal as dead spots are usually pretty small, and are the result of the wireless signal being absorbed by items such as stacks of books, or reflected by metal surfaces. Floors and equipment are prearranged and renovated yearly, so creating wireless maps would be an ineffective use of staff time. As you point out, it's easy enough to look at the signal strength indicator on your wireless device to get to area with a stronger signal if you so desire.

While signal strength is certainly one indicator of connectivity, it is not the main problem that we experience on the 3rd floor, particularly in September when student volume is high. Access points have a limited number of connections and people these days have at least one sometimes 2 or 3 wireless devices that automatically connect and use up the available connections. Perhaps this is related to the issue you experienced.

We have mitigated this problem somewhat by installing more access points, but they interfere with each other if there a place to close together.

I hope this information helps.

Kind regards,

 

Neal Baldwin

Manager, Library Systems