Students’ reliance on Wi-Fi multiplies

A new survey shows that college students consider Wi-Fi access essential to their educational success.

A recent survey by the Wi-Fi Alliance and Wakefield Research discovered that 90 percent of college students consider Wi-Fi access to be essential to their educational success.

As reported in an Online Colleges illustrated infograph, 79 percent of students said that without Wi-Fi service, college would be much more difficult. About three in four students reported that Wi-Fi service helped improve their educational performance and earn them better grades, while 44 percent said they used Wi-Fi to increase their productivity, often using Wi-Fi service to get a head start on an assignment while class is still in session.

Wi-Fi availability is a major determining factor of where students travel to complete their assignments. Fifty-two percent of students said they often travel to coffee shops well-known for reliable connections, while 42 percent reported frequenting bookstores. Thirty-three percent of students said they often study in restaurants that boast solid Wi-Fi connections.

According to ABI Research, an increasing number of colleges and universities are investing in Wi-Fi access points and controllers. It is projected that colleges will invest upwards of $837 million worldwide in Wi-Fi technologies this year—a 611-percent increase since 2007.

The research shows that many institutions are transitioning to faster “n” Wi-Fi networks from the formerly popular third-generation “g” networks. Though “n” networks are typically more costly upfront, they could be more cost-effective in the long run, when future upgrades are considered.

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