Surfing on the Diag is about to get gnarly!

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Picture this: it’s a beautiful summer day in Ann Arbor. You have lots of work to catch up on, but don’t want to spend this day inside. Now you won’t have to! Information & Technology Services (ITS) recently announced approval of funding to install WiFi in portions of the Diag.

At the request of students and with the support of President Schlissel, the U-M Provost and Chief Financial Officer approved a project to provide wireless access outdoors on the Diag to support student and campus activities. Based on their input it has been determined that the areas of coverage will include the Hatcher Library plaza with the block M, and the areas adjacent to the surrounding buildings: Angell Hall, Kraus, Chemistry & Dow Labs, Dana, Randall Labs and Hatcher Library.

But the project is not just about the ability to stay connected while you work and play on the Diag. This space  is the heart of the U-M Ann Arbor campus, and has been the stage for many events over the years. Festifall, political rallies, campus tours, and student organization activities are just a few of the activities that take place on the Diag.

(Copyright: Lin Jones, Michigan Photography)

In the past, ITS provided temporary WiFi capability for events being held on the Diag. It was time-consuming and expensive to install and tear down each time an event came along. Having permanent WiFi capabilities in this location will save much time, money, and effort moving forward.

“We have almost completed work on the Campus WiFi Upgrade Project that began three years ago to ensure that we could provide wall-to-wall, penthouse-to-basement WiFi coverage inside buildings on the Ann Arbor campus,” stated Andy Palms, executive director, ITS Infrastructure. “Extending WiFi coverage in outdoor spaces heavily used by students, faculty, and staff is the next obvious progression of this work. U-M continues to invest in this important infrastructure.”

The Ann Arbor campus should expect to see construction start on the Diag over the summer. Work will be completed over the next 4–18 months, as weather permits. While ITS is charged with executing this upgrade, the project would not be successful without significant collaboration from the Student Resource Center (SORC), the Campus Planner’s Office, Facilities & Operations, the External Elements Review Committee (EERC), IT Procurement, Unit IT, and leadership in affected campus buildings.

Track our progress on this project at http://its.umich.edu/projects/wifi-upgrade/diag

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