The University of Oregon’s clogged and clunky wireless system is a shock to many students.


Campuses have struggled to keep up with the demand for Wi-Fi.

The predicament began in the fall of 2011, when the demand for Wi-Fi connections on campus began outstripping the bandwidth the UO provides.

The Eugene Register-Guard reports the shortage of capacity is a potential multimillion dollar problem for the school.

Weak, slow or broken connections aren’t unusual, students say. Demand spikes at the beginning of fall, winter and spring terms.

The university devoted $660,000 to tackle the first of these issues — maintaining connections — by the end of this year.

The student population has soared by 40 percent, to 24,500, since 2000, when only 60 people had signed on to the campus wireless system. The system has failed to keep up.

On the third day of classes, for example, freshman Caitlin Dieni had needed to print her assignments but couldn’t get to them because the wireless system wouldn’t connect.

Dieni picked up her smartphone and tweeted her exasperation: “ALL I WANT TO DO IS CONNECT TO THE FREAKING INTERNET. OMG. I FREAKING HATE UO WIRELESS. #havehomework #needinternet”

“Watching TV and movies on a WiFi device, that is at most five years old. Those take a lot of bandwidth,” said Professor Andrzej Proskurowski of the UO computer science department.

See page 2 for more on the campus-based “device explosion”…