U computing services reviews campus wireless Internet options

Students hoping to enjoy the last days of summer and still focus on their studies can now access the Internet on the Mall in front of Northrop Auditorium.

Academic and Distributed Computing Services is previewing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today the wireless network installed last summer atop buildings surrounding the Mall on the East Bank.

The 12 hubs provide Internet access in the mall area without the computer being hooked up to a port. All that is needed is a laptop with a wireless card.

“There is so much information on the Internet for students,” said Shih-Pau Yen, ADCS director. “You have to provide a facility to access for students.”

Yen said he hopes to have 130 hubs on campus in the coming years. Eventually, students with laptops and wireless cards will be able to access the Internet anywhere on campus, Yen said.

Beginning last fall, students could check out Dell laptops and IBooks in 93 Blegen Hall. In April, 152 Shepherd Hall also started to provide the service. On the St. Paul campus, students can check out laptops in 50 Coffey Hall. Currently, there are 50 computers in all three locations to be checked out. That number will grow as demand increases, Yen said.

Laptop rental costs $3.50 per day for students and $5.00 per day for faculty. Students must pay for the rental with their U Cards and leave their driver’s licenses at the checkout locations. They must also sign liability forms.

Students can begin renting laptops at 8 a.m. and must return the computers by 4:45 p.m. Laptops can’t be checked out overnight or over the weekend.

– Joanna Dornfeld