Wireless Internet scheduled to arrive on campus this semester

A new wave of the wireless revolution is scheduled to arrive on campus this semester when the area between Sadler and Reed halls becomes laptop compatible.

The access point or antenna will be purchased and installed once funding comes through from the House of Student Representatives, Dave Edmondson, assistant provost for Information Services, said in an e-mail.

The Bass Building, Mary Couts Burnett Library, Smith Entrepreneurs Hall and the Student Center Lounge and Ballroom are currently the only locations on campus with wireless capabilities.

“Being able to set up your laptop to a wireless network offers more options to locate for group work,” said David Watson, the House treasurer and finance chair. “More specifically, the Sadler Mall wireless access point will allow students and faculty to study outside and enjoy the beautiful weather.”

Watson was chair of the Permanent Improvements Committee when the House passed a bill in November providing $1,625 to purchase the wireless equipment.

An antenna will be installed on the east wall of the Student Center, Watson said. The access point broadcasts a radio wave that is picked up by the computer.

The computer and the access point then interact and transmit information back and forth, Watson said. The access point will be a permanent part of the campus, he said.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Brent Hogan, a senior political science major. “But I wish we also had it in the dorms.”

Hogan said he hopes that someday wireless access will be available anywhere on campus.

“The House voted in the fall of 2003 to allocate money to install one wireless access point,” Watson said. “We felt like wireless access is a growing desire of college students and many other campuses around the country have recognized this.”

Val Lund, a senior communications studies and Spanish major, said the new access point does not make a difference to her.

“To be honest, I really don’t think I’ll ever use it,” Lund said. “I don’t carry my laptop around because I don’t have access in my classes.”

Although Lund thinks she may never use the access point, she said it’s a good improvement on campus.

“It brings a different atmosphere,” she said. “Most of the time you’re sitting in a computer lab. Going outside would be nice for a change.”

To set up a laptop for wireless use, Watson said students must have a wireless card/address. Information Services recommends a Cisco wireless card on the Computer Help Desk Web site.

“They need to register it with TCU,” Watson said. “They need not contact anybody if they register online.”

Watson also said all wireless access, including the new location, has standard TCU network protection.

For instructions on setting up your wireless Internet and to register your wireless card/address, visit (http://www.is.tcu.edu/helpdesk/students/wireless).