Need help with Wi-Fi issues right now? Contact the ITS Help Desk for assistance.
The University of Iowa’s Wi-Fi service is one of the larger wireless network implementations in higher education. Despite the popularity of wireless access (Wi-Fi), there are several factors that can negatively impact the speed or availability of Wi-Fi service on the University of Iowa campus. Some of these can be beyond our control, such as: background radio interference, limitations of Wi-Fi technology, the presence of older phones or laptops, and the number of devices competing to use Wi-Fi in each space.
Fortunately, there are several things that can help achieve a satisfactory Wi-Fi experience on campus.
What You Can Do
- Contact ITS regarding the Wi-Fi capacity of your classroom. If you think your students will be making heavy use of Wi-Fi in a large classroom, please contact the ITS Wireless Services Team at ITS-WirelessServices@iowa.uiowa.edu with the classroom location, class size and the application/service the students will be using. ITS will help determine if the Wi-Fi service should be able to meet your classroom needs.
- Have a backup plan. ITS works to ensure Wi-Fi is available 24x7. But due to the nature of Wi-Fi it is not possible to always guarantee service availability. Unfortunately, some Wi-Fi issues may not get resolved during your class, so it is best to have a backup plan in mind for your students.
- Turn off unnecessary devices. Ask your students to turn off or put to sleep smart phones and any other Wi-Fi devices that are not being used as part of the class. A student using a laptop is likely to also have a smart phone and a smart watch. That more than doubles the number of devices competing for Wi-Fi access, which adds up quickly in large spaces.
- Encourage students to keep their device software up to date. Out of date software can contribute to wireless service problems. If specific students are having issues, advise them to check their devices for updates.
- Use Wi-Fi access only for mobile and portable devices that require it. Keep desktop computers, workgroup printers and other stationary devices off Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi access is not a substitute for wired network connections that guarantee full speed and availability.
What ITS is Doing
- ITS has upgraded every Wi-Fi access point across campus to support Wi-Fi 6 to allow for more efficient use of the Wi-Fi service by newer devices.
- ITS has expanded the number of access points in high density areas, such as classrooms and lecture halls, to help alleviate wireless congestion.
- ITS is using technology provided by our wireless system to automatically steer clients that are capable of 5 GHz Wi-Fi operation away from 2.4 GHz, which will help alleviate congestion in the more limited 2.4 GHz frequency range. Note: 5 GHz Wi-Fi is not related to 5G cell phone service.
- ITS uses technology provided by our wireless system to balance clients more evenly across access points in each area.
- ITS is maintaining a relationship with the University’s academic community, so that we can improve communication and service to faculty and students.
- The ITS Help Desk has access to tools in the wireless system to help users diagnose and solve certain Wi-Fi problems.