Wireless Internet debuts on campus

Eileen Rafferty

After a successful pilot, the University is now moving into the second phase of installing a high-speed wireless network throughout campus.

In order to access the wireless network, a computer must be in a wireless zone and equipped with a wireless access card. The new zones will be located all over campus.

In order to test the wireless access, various spots were set up in several locations. Shortly afterwards, the first permanent wireless zones were established in CEER and Tolentine Hall, with plans to expand throughout Bartley Hall, Falvey Library, Belle Aire Terrace, the Italian Kitchen and the East Lounge in Dougherty Hall.

More than 200 wireless points should be established at the end of the process, which will make the University one of the first in the country to install a high-speed wireless network such as this.

“It is important to make this transition to wireless Internet access because of the desire and clear message sent by students to have constant access. They want to be online all the time and everywhere,” said Stephen Fugale, chief information officer of the Office for University Information Technologies.

According to Fugale, the difference between wire and wireless access is not noticeable while web browsing but is evident when downloading.

It will take between two and five years to complete the process cost effectively. The new Dell laptops, designed for engineering and commerce and finance students, will include the access card. For students in other fields of study, the card will be available to purchase through the student laptop program for $70.

“I think wireless access is a great idea,” sophomore engineer Nicholas Scheck said. “It will enable people on campus to be more accessible and it will make it easier to complete assignments.”

Sophomore Nancy Olewnik expressed a different opinion. “Although it’s awesome for Villanova to want to progress, realistically we’re just going to be on Instant Messenger more. We don’t really need to be on the Internet all the time.”

Although laptop tuition for engineering and commerce and finance students is not supposed to increase, supporting both hardwire and wireless networks is quite an investment.

“A high speed wireless connection network sounds very impressive; however, I believe the administration could have found a better use for the money,” junior Ian Purcell said.

Only University students and staff may access the wireless network. The correct ID and password is necessary for security measures.