Students in distress over persistent Wi-Fi issues

The start of the fall semester has finally arrived, and many NC A&T students can’t help but complain about the quality of the internet on campus. As Information Technology Services (ITS) continues to work to resolve connectivity issues, more and more students are raising concerns about Wi-Fi issues on campus.

Many students have complained to ITS about the current Wi-Fi issues they are experiencing in classrooms and residence halls. One of the main issues was the poor internet connection throughout the day.

In early 2022, NC A&T had suffered a cybersecurity breach resulting in an internet outage. The outage occurred March 7-11, affecting Blackboard services and university-wide Wi-Fi.

Unfortunately, the effects of the blackout can still be felt by students like Huggins with a noticeable difference in the connection.

According to Mya Turner, a sophomore nursing student, she finds herself reconnecting her devices multiple times throughout the day.

“As for my laptop or iPad, I constantly have to reconnect it to Wi-Fi,” said sophomore nursing student Mya Turner. “Aggie guest is not working so I have to use Aggie Pride coming in and out on my devices.”

Blackboard has become one of the main sources of communication for viewing assignments between students and teachers. Yet, with the connectivity issues that arise, students are finding it difficult to complete and turn in their assignments.

“My computer is not connecting to Wi-Fi, which is preventing my homework from loading,” said Davion Huggins, a meteorology student. “My (Wi-Fi) connection is not working on my computer, so I have to change location to complete my work.”

The speed and quality of Wi-Fi not only impacted students’ studies, but also caused issues with students’ ability to reconnect with friends and family from home. Many frustrated people claim that this experience interferes with their social life.

Due to the large number of complaints, ITS has sent several campus-wide emails identifying the technical fault affecting the university’s technology infrastructure. The department has begun carrying out emergency repairs that could lead to brief outages in the coming weeks.

According to ITS, “The university is experiencing communication issues within its network due to a failed master switch module. This issue is preventing most of the campus from accessing the Internet. This issue was also preventing users from connect to applications such as Blackboard, Banner, Office365 and others. However, we are working with the university’s networking partners to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”

Although steps have been taken to improve the quality of Wi-Fi, students find it difficult to see the changes on their side.

“Since the virus, it’s been difficult,” said Marsalis Davis, a junior accounting student. “Wi-Fi is always off and on most of the time. Also was not able to recognize my Aggie account when logging in.

Students like Huggins are frustrated and demand a change that says the internet connection at Gibbs Hall has never worked since he’s been in college.

“Something has to be done,” Huggins said. “We have been expressing our opinions since [my] second year.”

It is with great hope that ITS restore full campus Internet service in the coming weeks.

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