A common complaint for students is the speed of the Wi-Fi in the residence halls. Many of them are unaware that they may be a part of the problem.
Listed on their website, ETSU restricts the use of personal Wi-Fi networks in the residents halls, because it interferes with the university’s own network. These “rogue” networks generate signals that affect the entire Wi-Fi system.
Wireless routers, cell phone hotspots and wireless printers are common items associated with these rouge signals, but Rokus, Chromecasts, game stations and smart TVs also have wireless signals.
“Many devices, like printers and game stations, have built-in Ethernet capability,” said Renée Couch, Associate Director for Residence Life. “(They) can be plugged into a wall jack and the Wi-Fi turned off.”
Using ethernet instead of the wireless function of the devices allows the university’s wireless capabilities to be uninterrupted.
When these devices are detected, Housing is given a general location of their place of origin and go door to door asking residents if any of these devices are being used. Often, students are unaware of this policy and are compliant when removing the devices or turning off the Wi-Fi capabilities.
Because students have been cooperative, there has not been any disciplinary actions taken against the students with these devices.
“The signal generated by rogue networks can penetrate several walls and floors,” said Couch. “(They are) greatly degrading the Wi-Fi experience for everyone in the building because they utilize the same frequencies as the ETSU Wi-Fi network.”
To combat the issue of slow Wi-Fi, students are encouraged, and required, to avoid using other wireless devices.