For the past three years, a dedicated team within ITS Infrastructure has been working hard with Facilities and Operations (F&O) staff, to improve WiFi in 275 buildings that make up the heart of the Ann Arbor campus. The Campus WiFi Upgrade project is scheduled to complete on-time at the end of August, 2018, and has vastly improved connectivity for U-M students, faculty and staff. The project is down to the last 13 buildings, including 10 parking structures, where connectivity will be provided for U-M service and business vehicle parking spaces.
But we are not done improving WiFi on the Ann Arbor campus. At the request of Central Student Government 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. The WiFi on the Diag project will provide WiFi coverage in the Hatcher Library Plaza with the block M, and areas adjacent to buildings surrounding the central Diag.
In June, in partnership with F&O, ITS began work on the Diag in preparation for installing WiFi via 6-8 newly designed Diag boards. The existing, three-sided, advertising Diag boards managed and maintained by the Student Organization Resource Center (SORC) are used to advertise campus events and groups. These will be replaced by four-sided Diag boards which will house the WiFi equipment and serve as exterior communications hubs on the Diag. ITS will maintain an agreement with SORC to manage and maintain these spaces and equipment over time, which permits the potential for future “internet of things” devices to be deployed on the Diag, if appropriate.
Benefits of the project include:
- Fulfills a student-driven and President-supported IT request
- Serves the wide range of students, faculty, staff, and guests that use the Diag for teaching, learning, social, and community events
- Supports the SORC mission to advertise student events and groups
- Improves the ability to support larger events on the Diag space
- Realizes the long-time ITS Infrastructure vision to deliver exterior WiFi on the Diag
Work on this project is expected to be substantially complete by this fall in time for the return of students and faculty for the new term. Track our progress on these two projects at http://its.umich.edu/wifiupgrade