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The days of invalid IP addresses and “work offline” messages could soon be through for students on Old Campus — at least if they’re willing to be social.
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Yale’s wireless network has been accessible from the freshman lounge in the basement of Bingham Hall since the beginning of this semester and, an ITS official said, will be available in four to six weeks on the Old Campus green.
“We can get it done by the time it’s warm enough for students to be out here with their computers,” Director of Data Network Operations for Information and Technology Services Joseph Paolillo said.
Freshman Class Council representatives Geraldine Gassam ’07 and Brynne Lieb ’07 initiated the change by asking ITS near the end of fall semester if the University could add wireless network access to the Old Campus.
The network on the lawn, Paolillo said, will stretch from Phelps Gate and Connecticut Hall to Lanman-Wright Hall, though Gassam said the signal may be weaker in front of Linsly-Chittenden Hall. The goal of the project is only to extend wireless access to the lawn area and the lounge, not to student rooms, Paolillo said.
Lieb said she believes having an outdoor wireless network will cause more social activity among freshmen.
“I think it will get people out of their dorm rooms and onto the green interacting with one another,” Lieb said.
Gassam said many freshmen in her native Timothy Dwight College enjoy using the college’s wireless network.
“Lots of TD freshmen would sit in our courtyard and talk to the person next to them online just because we can use wireless,” Gassam said. “A lot of freshmen are excited about getting brand-new laptops with wireless capabilities but are disappointed when they get here and realize that Old Campus isn’t equipped for wireless.”
In addition to the newly-added service in Bingham, wireless access is available in all residential college dining halls, libraries and courtyards, as well as the Swing Space courtyard, Commons and various Yale libraries, according to the ITS Web site.
Paolillo said he could not yet estimate the total cost of extending the network to Old Campus, since the project is not yet complete. Installation costs roughly $700-$800 per “access point,” Paolillo said, and two were required for Bingham. He said ITS is currently researching the number of access points needed for the lawn area. Lieb said the FCC will not have to foot the bill for the project.
Gassam said she was pleased with how easily ITS agreed to the FCC’s request.
“With other FCC issues that we’ve approached [administrators about], we’ve had to go in for more than one meeting and revise our game plan,” Gassam said. “But with this issue we basically went in, asked for it, and got it.”
When told of the plan to expand wireless access, freshmen said they were excited to use the new service. Alexandra Antonioli ’07 said she had just gotten a wireless network card for Christmas and would definitely use the network when it goes online.
George Kalogeropoulos ’07, a computing assistant, said he knows there is a large demand for wireless network access among freshmen because he has seen many people set up wireless ports in their rooms. Kalogeropoulos said he hopes the network will save some students the trouble, since it could stretch into some rooms and would reduce the number of problems students create for other network users when they set up their own ports.
“I think it’s high time that they did this,” Kalogeropoulos said.
Paolillo said ITS is also working to expand wireless access to some buildings at the School of Management, the Economics Department, and other sites.