Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
October 22, 2021

Students experience difficulties with the campus wifi

By GRETA MARAS | September 15, 2021

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COURTESY OF LAURA WADSTEN

With classes of over 50 people held online, wifi issues on campus have impacted students’ experiences in class. 

Many students on the Homewood Campus are reporting difficulties with wifi connection and outages since the start of the fall semester, particularly in Brody Learning Commons and dorm buildings.

Since classes with over 50 students are still taught online, many students are taking online classes from either their dorms or campus buildings.

Sophomore Jerry Jin relies on campus wifi to participate in online classes.

“I take lectures both on campus and in my dorm, and both wifi connections aren’t that good,” he said. “When the professor is teaching during lecture, it skips and stops when they’re talking, and you spend more time trying to go back and understand since lectures are recorded.”

In an interview with The News-Letter, junior Hyunwoo Roh stated that he had connectivity issues in Brody.

“I went in between classes around 12 p.m. or 1 p.m., and my computer had trouble logging onto the wifi. If it would connect, it would be a little unstable,” he said.

Sophomore Christina Im has also experienced wifi issues at Brody. According to her, one of her peers attempted to join an online club meeting from Brody for 30 minutes before giving up due to poor wifi connection. 

In an email to The News-Letter, sophomore Joanne Wang mentioned that she has faced complete wifi outages on campus often.

“I experienced connection issues when attending zoom lectures and rewatching lecture videos. And at least once a day, I couldn’t even connect to the school wifi,” she wrote.

Information Technology (IT) Services did not return The News-Letter’s request for comment.

Director of Media Relations Jill Rosen explained in an email to The News-Letter that the wifi connection difficulties were due to an infrastructure issue.

“Johns Hopkins IT undertook multiple system upgrades over the summer in preparation for the return to campus this fall,” she wrote. “A failed infrastructure component related to one of those upgrades caused instability in the wireless network from August 26 to September 1, but the problem has been corrected.”

She added that the department continues to monitor for issues, and they are confident in the current capacity of the system.

Despite the correction of the problem, Im recalled wifi issues more recently than Sept. 1. 

“I had an assignment due at 11:59 and was trying to turn it in from Brody at 11:40, but the wifi just kept giving out, and I almost missed my deadline,” she said.

Roh believes that a more public explanation from the school regarding the reason for slow wifi speeds would be helpful.

“I would appreciate it if the school could explain the problem, especially if it’s because people are all taking classes on campus. If that was made transparent, we could go to other buildings or classrooms or venues on campus with fewer people,” he said.

Im agreed with Roh that the school should acknowledge the issues.

“It’s understandable that we might be having issues, but they should at least comment on it — especially since so many things are online,” she said. “They should take a bit more responsibility for allowing access to online classes.”

Students, faculty and staff experiencing IT issues should report to the IT Helpdesk. Additional resources may be found at the Wireless Resource Center.

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