If you have ever wanted to sit out in the middle of Cross Campus lawn and surf the Web, now is your chance.

Information Technology Services is quickly approaching completion of its wireless Ethernet program and has recently expanded wireless coverage to Cross Campus lawn and other areas.

Several weeks ago, ITS finished providing wireless coverage to Calhoun and Berkeley colleges. Coverage in the two colleges includes the dining halls, libraries, courtyards, exercise rooms, seminar rooms and game rooms. Students in these two colleges have the opportunity to borrow wireless Ethernet cards from ITS by filling out an electronic request form at www.yale.edu/dno/wireless_pilot.htm. ITS then delivers the software and instructions to the student via his or her college master’s office. So far, 90 students have borrowed wireless cards.

“Our test pilot is moving along incredibly well,” Joseph Paolillo, director of data network operations for ITS, said. “Coverage is much better than we could have expected and performance is quite good. We feel that this is certainly a viable technology in terms of performance.”

Wireless Ethernet has been around for several years but has only recently become viable as performance reaches the level of average wired connections. The technology consists of bases or access points that transmit low-frequency waves to antennae built into wireless Internet cards. As long as the cards are in proximity to an access point, they can receive Internet service.

ITS decided to fund a pilot of wireless Ethernet on campus this semester after receiving a donation from two alums, Norman Selby ’74 and Melissa Vail ’74.

In addition to Berkeley and Calhoun, ITS has provided wireless coverage at the Social Science Library on Prospect Street, Davies Auditorium, the Mason seminar room in Mason Lab, Watson Hall and select areas in Sterling Memorial and Cross Campus libraries. In Sterling, coverage has been expanded to Machine City, the three reading rooms and, thus far, the second floor of the stacks. In CCL, wireless service is available in the weenie bins and in the designated laptop areas. Wireless service is also accessible on Cross Campus lawn, though coverage is best on the side of the lawn closer to Sterling and CCL, Paolillo said.

Students participating in the pilot program said they were pleased with the service so far.

“I’ve tried using wireless in my library and it works great,” Hansel Tookes ’03 said. “It’s also worked for me in the Calhoun dining hall and common room so I’m pretty pleased. Sometime this weekend I’ll probably try taking my laptop out to the lawn if the weather’s nice.”

Before it makes plans to install access points in other colleges and areas of campus, ITS hopes to collect more feedback on the service from students. Next year, ITS will continue the pilot and offer wireless cards to students majoring in engineering or computer science for use in the engineering buildings.

“Before we move onto the next step we need to ask students some key questions,” Paolillo said. “We want to know if this service is something they find useful. Would students like us to expand coverage to other parts of campus or could they care less? To figure out questions like this we’ll be putting together a survey for the users.”