UK IT Services addresses campus Wi-Fi issues as more users join network


Steps to connect with eduroam. 

UK employees and students may have noticed some difficultly connecting to Wi-Fi on Thursday.

According to UK Information Technology Services, an influx of people using devices on campus caused the connectivity issues. As of Thursday afternoon, UK IT responded to 123 tweets about issues and 64 tickets about connectivity errors.

“Today has been a very challenging day within the network,” said Heath Price, UK IT’s associate CIO. “We are working diligently.”

The first major round of issues was reported at 10:45 a.m., Price said. He added that UK IT has “all hands on deck” to fix connectivity issues before classes begin Friday morning. He expects UK IT to work on the system throughout the next few weeks to address issues that may arise. This won’t happen again, he said. 

Rick Phillips, UK IT’s networking and infrastructure executive director, said that some on-boarding issues were expected when classes began on Wednesday and as more users tried connect with eduroam. He said UK IT is working with vendors to optimize the network’s load.

“Those are typical of any secure network. Going from an open network to a secure network like this, these are known issues. We did expect this,” Phillips said.

Campus Wi-Fi services changed from “ukyedu” to “eduroam” in May 2018. Eduroam uses a secure network, as users must login to use it, Price said. Having issues with the network before UK switched to eduroam “is not foreign,” he said, and that Thursday’s issues were UK IT’s newest challenge to overcome.

“We feel good about today and the work we have been able to do to improve and tune  the wireless network, to improve the delivery through this network through these [access points],” Price said.

UK’s campus has about 5,000 access points that allow users to connect to the internet, and that doesn’t include the APs in dorms, Price said.

Phillips said that as more users began using the campus’ APs, UK IT tunes the network to make sure that all those users can be handled efficiently.

Some issues have been related to users not registering an account with eduroam before trying to connect to the internet. Last April, UK IT held multiple tabling events for people to get assistance in registering with eduroam.

If users on campus still face connectivity issues, they should try connecting to UK-Wifi-Help, an SSID that will connect users to a help page with solutions for common problems. If a user continues to have issues, they can go to the UK IT desks on the first floor of McVey Hall or in the basement of William T. Young Library.

Price said that on Friday, UK IT will be as visible as it can be on UK’s 800 acres with tabling events and social media.