In Intel’s 2005 survey of wireless Internet access on college campuses, the University did not make the list of the 10 most wireless campuses.
It didn’t even make the top 50.
Now, though, the University’s largest school or college, LSA, is going completely wireless.
LSA announced last week a plan to expand its wireless network to cover all 23 of its buildings. The $1.5-million endeavor is expected to take about two years.
That means if you’re sitting in class at Angell Hall or the Chemistry Building, you’ll be able to boot up your laptop and enjoy service.
A growing number of students and faculty have been calling for more coverage on campus, LSA administrators said.
With only 20 percent of LSA buildings served by wireless, the University has fallen behind schools like Ball State University and Western Michigan University, which came in first and second on Intel’s list. Ball State and WMU have entirely wireless campuses, as do most of the colleges in Intel’s top 50.
Only 15 percent of the top 50 schools on the Intel list had entirely wireless campuses in 2004. In 2005, though, that percentage had jumped to 74 percent.
“It is vital for the campus to have easy access to the latest computer technology,” said Terrence McDonald, dean of LSA, in a press release. “This will allow students, faculty and staff to access the Internet, research data, personal documents and e-mail anywhere on campus.”
LSA sophomore Senay Mekonen said wireless Internet helps students get the most of their lectures.
“Laptops are a big part of college,” Mekonen said. “Every student these days has a laptop. Being able to access the supplements to what you are using in class can be really helpful.”
An increase in wireless coverage is also likely to mean more students behind computer screens in lecture.
“More people will probably start bringing laptops to class,” LSA sophomore Katie Jones said.