Friday, October 28, 2011

Why can't I access the Internet from my laptop when I'm in the library?

There are several reasons that you may not be able to access the CCC wireless network on your own laptop from within the library, which may include laptop settings, campus network issues and the existing demand on the wireless network. I would like to highlight the latter, network demand, which seems to be ever present in the library.

Clinton Community College’s IT department has installed several wireless hotspots across campus in each of the buildings, and in some cases multiple hotspots within a building. Each hotspot can accommodate up to 50 concurrent users. The Moore Building has four hotspots throughout, including one in Douglas Library, to support the heavy traffic we see on a daily basis. Unfortunately, we are finding demand far exceeds supply, and many users are unable to access the network from their laptops.

What many don’t realize is that smart phones and other mobile devices sign on to the wireless network, even when the phone/device could be using the 3G network provided by the carrier. Without making a change in the device’s settings, this is frequently automatic, therefore occupying one of the 50 allotted seats, most likely unintentionally. Given the number of smart phones and other devices in use on campus, these 50 seats go quite fast, therefore blocking laptop users who do not have access to 3G or any other network.

With this in mind, I would like to encourage mobile device users to check their device settings. Please change mobile device settings to prevent automatically “signing on” to the network when not in use. Also, please set the mobile device to select the 3G service provided by the carrier whenever possible.

If everyone were to make these minor changes to their smart phones, tablets and other devices, many Clinton Community College students, faculty and staff would benefit from increased network access throughout campus.

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