ITC constantly working to improve systems

Thanks to Exponent reporter Matt Schwager for the article in the Sept. 26 issue regarding wireless access at MSU and for offering further insight into the improvements in technology currently underway here on campus.

Since Aug. 2012, MSU has invested approximately $1.2 million from the IT Center, the Provost’s Office, and Auxiliary Services to expand and improve wireless access across campus. We’ve done that, first and foremost, to support our students’ academic success at MSU and secondly to meet the expectations students have of ubiquitous wireless access. As with any major technology implementation, this upgrade had challenges: occasional slow performance and intermittent connectivity. MSU’s IT staff has been working to address these issues and performance is steadily improving.

Across campus, we typically see an average of 3,600 devices connected to the wireless system at any one time throughout the day with more than 6,500 devices connected during peak times. Those devices are doing everything from simple email to streaming high-bandwidth video.

Progress on the wireless upgrade project — what buildings are in progress and what buildings are up next — can be tracked at www.montana.edu/wifi.

Other projects are underway to further improve the IT environment on campus: Technology in the classrooms continues to be added, as does interactive technology in common areas. Support services will continue to improve as we keep training our staff in the latest technology advances. Upgrades to the residence halls include an increase to the overall Internet connection capacity and a significant build-out of the wireless network in remaining residence areas over the next two years.

The needs and concerns of MSU’s students are top priorities and I welcome your input and discussion to help guide the university’s implementation of technology across campus. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me at cio@montana.edu or swing by my office at 55 Renne Library.

— Adam Edelman, Interim MSU Chief Information Officer