A bad connection

Campus-wide wireless Internet should be a top priority for the University.

by Editorial board

In this day and age it’s hard to imagine living in a world without wireless Internet connection. Thanks to inventions like the smartphone and the growing need to always be connected, having instant access to the Internet has become a necessity in our society — and for students especially. Students who want to stay on campus and study in-between classes shouldn’t have to scramble to find an open seat at Coffman Union in order to get a decent Internet connection. There are too many students here at the University of Minnesota who rely on the wireless network, and everybody should be able to access it where it’s convenient, instead of overcrowding the wireless hotspots. According to data provided by the Office of Information Technology, nearly 82,000 people accessed the University’s wireless network in September.

More than just a few people go without access to the University network — entire departments are currently without it. The University provides wireless access only in areas of high demand, and any department excluded from that range has to pay for a connection out of their own pockets. The art department made it clear they don’t have a budget to pay for wireless service and that the lack of Internet connection is hindering their ability to teach effectively. 

It’s unfair that instructors who need access to the network in order to enhance their curriculum are denied that privilege. Entire departments shouldn’t be cut off from access to the Internet simply because they aren’t located near an area of “high demand.” The University should work to improve its wireless network so that everyone on campus has access to the web.