Tweets reflect ECwireless frustrations

Sophomore Anne Hurst took to Twitter last week to express her dissatisfaction with ECWireless, Emerson’s new Internet network.

“Despite the directions saying it’s extremely easy connecting to ECwireless, I somehow managed to mess it up,” her tweet read on Sept. 3.

And still a week later, the marketing major said she is having trouble connecting to the network in Piano Row, her residence hall, despite upgrades and changes made to the old ECMobile system over the summer.

“It was very inconsistent at first, and I don’t really see any improvement,” Hurst said. “ECMobile was slow, but I could always log in. With ECWireless, I can’t always connect, but it’s faster.”

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Last semester #ECMobile became a way for students to bond over what some describe as the slow and unreliable wireless network at the college. As renovations and a new name to the system were installed, so began a new Twitter hashtag for student complaints: #ECWireless.

According to Richard Grossman, director of networking and communication, IT has has seen substantially improved performance in both residential spaces and the library, where updates were installed. Grossman said he believes students’ problems with the Internet to mostly be derived from a lack of familiarity with the authentication process of a large-scale network.

“Most of the problems we’ve been seeing so far have all been related to the set-up process and initial connection,” Grossman said in a phone interview with the Beacon. “Unlike something you have at home, it’s a slightly more complex process.”

In hopes of diminishing students’ conflicts with ECMobile, the Department of Information Technology upgraded equipment and installed new access points for a faster and more reliable network over the summer in an attempt to revamp the wireless system.

“This is far more than a name change: it is an overhaul,” Grossman said in a mass email. “The name change, however, signifies the considerable infrastructure upgrades that were performed during the summer, from swapping out controllers and radio hardware to redesigning and re-installing the portions of the wired network that support them.”

But students, such as Daniel Fidler, continue to turn to Twitter to express concerns.

“So I take back what I said about #ECWireless being glorious. It’s actually worse than ECMobile, if you can imagine,” the senior media studies major said on the site.

Similarly, Max Collins, a junior visual and media arts major, tweeted after the first day of classes: “Not even 8 hours in and I already hate the sh** outta #ECWireless… Where does tuition go?”