• Sydnie Balcer

The WiFi Upgrade Project at SWOSU

Updated: Apr 30

Students may have noticed or heard about changes to SWOSU’s wifi networks: here are the details.

By Sydnie Balcer

News Reporter

Since February of 2020, the SWOSU Information Technology Services office has been working on a wifi improvement project for the SWOSU campuses that is meant to improve the campus's overall internet connection and phase out the SWOSU-Air wifi network.

Here are the changes that have been made to the SWOSU wifi as of October 2020, along with issues that hindered the project’s timeline:

  • February:

  • Purchased access points

  • Scheduled 327 access points to be installed

  • March:

  • Campus was shut down

  • Building infrastructure for the WiFi project began, which focused on Stewart Hall, Oklahoma Hall, Neff Hall, and Mann North. Building infrastructure includes:

  • Purchasing and configuring network switches

  • Running network cabling in buildings

  • Building a new wiring closet

  • Installing access points

  • April & May:

  • Campus was still shut down

  • ITS assisted approximately 400 SWOSU employees in being able to work remotely

  • Building infrastructure for the WiFi project continued

  • June:

  • ITS deployed 150 Dell Lease to employees

  • Building infrastructure for the WiFi project continued

  • July:

  • Dian Rat became the new ITS Director

  • Switches were purchased, but put on back-order due to COVID-19

  • Building infrastructure for the WiFi project continued

  • August:

  • ITS began installing switches

  • September:

  • Access points were stabilized

  • 301 access points were installed

  • October:

  • Kicked off the Switch Upgrade Project:

  • Began building infrastructure for the Switch Upgrade Project, which covers all SWOSU buildings

  • Continued working on installing the rest of the access points with the most recent installations in the Student Union and the second floor of the Al Harris Library

  • Upgraded the WiFi to facilitate athletic events at the Baseball Batting Barn

The future plans in the WiFi Project are:

  • Getting comprehensive classroom WiFi coverage

  • Upgrading Alma Mater Merc WiFi coverage

  • Upgrading the WiFi coverage in Black Kettle Hall

  • Upgrading the WiFi coverage on the SWOSU Sayre campus

“The WiFi project has been very challenging, throwing COVID-19 on top of it,” SWOSU ITS Director Dian Ray said. “ We had 400 employees we had to assist with working from home, which took a lot of time from building the infrastructure.”

ITS also continues to handle address student and faculty issues around campus while still working on the WiFi Project, one of 48 projects that they are currently working on.

Many of the projects ITS works on can take a year or more to complete. According to Ray, upgrading the switches alone will be about a 12-month project because installing new switches requires ITS to shut the entire building they are working on down.

Despite how busy ITS can get, students and faculty are highly encouraged to call or email the ITS help desk, or submit help desk tickets if they are experiencing any issues with their internet or technology.

“We really encourage students to talk to us about issues we’re having,” Tiffany Hiessen, SWOSU ITS help desk specialist, said. “If you call us or make a ticket, we’re gonna get with you. I always contact them before the end of the day.”

When calling or emailing ITS or submitting help desk tickets, students are asked to let staff know what building they are in, what room number they are in, and what floor they are on. This allows ITS to directly address the problem without having to recreate scenarios in order to test issues.

Students can contact ITS with any issues or questions via phone at 580-774-7070 or via email at helpdesk@swosu.edu.

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