Why is the airnet signal is so poor at Sir Stanley Matthews Sports Centre?

QUESTION:
Hi. Being a customer of the gym at Stanley Matthews Sports Centre, can I ask why the airnet signal is so poor/none existent?

 

ANSWER:
The AirNet wireless network is one of Information Services key services with over 2000 people using the system every day.

We have recently become aware that the AirNet wireless coverage in the gym area of the Stanley Mathews sports centre is not to the standard that it should be for the number of users in that area. Plans are in place to address this situation and further develop AirNet, working in partnership with Hewlett Packard, as part of Staffordshire University’s ICT transformation.

When will students get a fully working wireless network?

QUESTION:
When will our students get a fully working wireless network to work with (wireless printing, wireless mapped H-Drive, wireless student login), rather than just a wireless internet connection?

 
ANSWER:
The Airnet wireless service allows students to access the internet, email via Webmail, access H drives and print documents. Further details can be found within the Airnet User Guide.

We are constantly striving to develop our mobile offering to all of our staff and students as is illustrated by the recent launch of the new AirNet-Secure service.

*This is a question that we did not have time for during the last Executive Question Time.

What are Executive doing to reduce the impact of power cuts?

QUESTION:
Given the repeated power cuts in Stoke what is the university executive doing regarding business continuity and reducing the impact of power cuts?

 
ANSWER:
The University has invested significantly in upgrading the back-up systems for the Data Centres in Stoke and Stafford to minimise the impact of power cuts.

*This is a question that we did not have time for during the last Executive Question Time.

Why was ResNet outsourced?

QUESTION:
The student residential network (ResNet) has just been outsourced to a 3rd party company. Can you please explain how an IS run service that generated over £100,000 per year has just been outsourced especially since other local universities’ students envy the service offered to our students?

 

ANSWER:
We wanted to offer our residential students the best level of service that we could from the provision of internet speeds, telephony and IP TV coupled with a 24/7 helpdesk. We decided to engage with a contractor for a fully managed service including the associated investment requirements with the support of IS – Cablecom were the successful company. Many universities have chosen to outsource this provision in order, like us, to provide a service that meets students expectations both now and in the future.

*This is a question that we did not have time for during the last Executive Question Time.

Why do we have to keep logging on to the university WiFi?

QUESTION:
If I return to a hotel I stayed at before, or go to a cafe I have been to before, my iPhone latches on to the wifi system as it knows it, and I’m automatically connected.

However here, I have to keep logging on over and over again to the airnet system. If I don’t use the device for an hour or so, or come back to work the next morning after using it the previous day, I have to log on yet again. The login appears to expire for no apparent reason.

Why can’t we log on just once and stay connected to the university wifi system?

 

ANSWER:
Connection to the University wireless network requires authentication to protect the security and integrity of the University network and IT systems and is a fundamental requirement from JANET (the Joint Academic NETwork).

As part of planned developments Information Services will introduce an additional wireless connection method to enable users to automatically authenticate to the wireless network as part of the Windows logon on University computers, or to enable users to store their credentials as part of the WiFi profile on iPads or similar device.

Such changes will allow Smartphone and tablet users to connect to the University’s wireless network once then automatically reconnect and use “apps” without re-authenticating for as long as the users credentials are valid (i.e. until the password is changed or account expired). Windows devices can also be configured to automatically connect using the computers system account before a user logs onto the device to enable background system activity such as software or antivirus updates.

It is estimated that these facilities will be available from September 2012.

Are there any plans to join EduRoam?

Question:

Are there any plans for Staffordshire University to join EduRoam, thus letting visitors from other universities etc access to our network?

Answer:

Visitors from other universities with their own laptop can contact 3800 or one of the IT helpdesks to request a guest account, which will provide access to the University wireless network.

An evaluation of the EduRoam service is currently underway which may result in this service being offered in the future.

Are there any plans to update the ResNet service?

Question:

Are there any plans to invest in any upgrades to the ageing (some of the equipment is over 15 years old) ResNet services provided to students to account for the much greater requirement for bandwidth especially when taking into our account the university’s high proportion of media and game based subjects.

Answer:

The University is currently undertaking a tender exercise for a new ResNet service.  Subject to the outcomes of the tender it is intended to offer a much improved, managed service from Autumn 2011.