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Division of Information Technology

Plans to Improve WiFi on Columbia Campus Adopted

The Division of IT is aware of wireless issues affecting classroom and administrative buildings across the Columbia campus. While work is being done to improve wireless connectivity in the short-term, the division has also developed a long-range plan to improve the overall wireless infrastructure across campus.

 The university will invest $6.5 million to implement phase II of the campus Wi-Fi improvement plan. In 2020, wireless network capabilities were upgraded in all residence halls on the Columbia campus. The latest upgrade will focus on improving wireless internet access in more than 600 classrooms across 93 buildings on the Columbia campus by the end of 2023. More than 4,000 wireless access points will be added, providing faster and more reliable connections.

The Wi-Fi upgrades will also take advantage of the soon-to-be upgraded network infrastructure. The network will be more segmented and less vulnerable to outages. By the end of 2023, both wireless and wired networks will be far more resilient. Network outages related to failing hardware are expected to drop by 90 percent or more.

Upgrades will not be completed until 2023 due to a variety of factors, including supply chain issues and shipping delays. Once all materials arrive on campus, a schedule must be developed to enter classroom buildings without further interrupting academic time. Since most classrooms on campus are utilized constantly through the week, it will take time to reach them all.  

In the meantime, technicians will continue to troubleshoot the outdated network that is currently on the Columbia campus. Many routers and controllers are more than 12 years-old, while access points are 6–7 years-old. This outdated equipment causes repeated outages, slow connectivity, and disconnects. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to contact the IT Service Desk at 803-777-1800 to report issues. It is helpful to identify your exact location on campus, including the building, floor, and room number, if applicable. You can also follow the Division of IT on Facebook or Twitter, @UofSCtech.



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