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New Wi-Fi connects students to other campuses


On Aug. 5, Drake University changed the wireless network on campus from DUStudent and DUFacStaff to eduroam. Eduroam is a global wireless roaming service that allows students to connect to Wi-Fi at any school that uses it. 

“By switching to eduroam, Drake students, faculty and staff can connect to a global Wi-Fi service that provides secure and fast Internet connectivity at access points across the globe,” according to the Information Technology Services website. “This change benefits Drake faculty traveling for scholarly and collaborative work, students studying abroad and visiting other campuses and anyone traveling to another participating eduroam institution.”

Director of Infrastructure Chris Mielke shared that Drake is the first private institution in Iowa to transition to eduroam. Since its rollout, IT Services has been working to ensure everything runs smoothly. 

“We are getting some reports of roaming issues,” Mielke said. “We are working with our vendor right now to figure out why it’s happening and try to rectify it as soon as possible.”

Back in April, IT Services switched from a single service provider to two. The switch has already proved to be beneficial after a brief internet outage on Friday, Aug. 27. 

“Our previous carrier had a major outage, and if we had not had two carriers we probably would have been out the entire day,” Mielke said. 

Sophomore Amber Petrak, who has lived in the dorms since Aug. 15, has worked with IT to connect to the network.

“When I first got here we lived in the corner of the building and there was no connection in my bed,” Petrak said. 

Petrak called the IT support line and was able to get connection in her room. Since connecting, Petrak has been able to experience the full benefits that eduroam has to offer. 

“Last weekend I went to Iowa State and was surprised to see I was connected to the Wi-Fi. It was pretty nice to just have it on my phone,” Petrak said. 

IT Services also implements DUEntertainment, a system that allows students to connect TVs and gaming consoles to the network without connecting to a wired port. 

“It was becoming more and more of a complaint over recent years that we should be allowing students to connect wirelessly,” Mielke said. “Since we have provided that option this year, that weighed into the option to only provide wired ports by request.”

So far roughly 80 students, including Petrak, have requested their wired ports be turned on.

On Sept. 13, DUStudent will no longer be a wireless option for students. Students must make the switch to eduroam to continue having a wireless connection. For concerns or questions, visit the Information Technology Services website at drake.edu/its/.

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