Ban Put on Student Use of Internal Wifi

Aisha Tahir, Features Writer

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Many of us have been encountering problems with the Guest Wifi ever since the ban on the faster and more convenient Internal Wifi. The ban was enacted Monday September 22nd.

Anyone that continues to use the Internal Wifi after the ban will be permanently locked off from any Internet connection at school. Several students are unhappy with the ban, which makes connecting to the Internet so much more of a hassle than it was before.

Junior Kelli Maleska is just one of many students who is irritated with this new policy. “(The Guest Wifi) always kicks me off and sometimes goes really slow. It’s annoying because it drains battery on my phone and forces me to use my data instead,” she stated. Maleska is not the only one experiencing these problems. In fact, anyone that tries logging into the Guest Wifi will suffer from the slow connection and constant disconnections.

According to Technology Specialist Mr. George Behnke, the district intentionally designed the Guest Wifi to be much more inconvenient compared to the faster and stronger Internal Wifi, for reasons unknown to him. Students are also aware of this, and prior to the ban, Internal Wifi was what they used.

In reality, the Internal Wifi was never meant for students at all, “196 Guest was what students should have been logging into this whole time. Because the district bought a certain software that couldn’t differentiate between people who could get on Internal and people who could get on Guest, they just told us to tell students to use Guest. The problem became that many students discovered that the Guest did not work well and required constant re-authentication. For that reason, many students started using the 196 Internal,” said Mr. Behnke. The Internal Wifi has always been meant for district owned devices only. That includes teachers’ computers and district-issued iPads that are part of the Beta Experiment.

So why did the district wait until now to ban the Internal Wifi for students? According to Mr. Behnke, the Internal Wifi supports 4000 IP, or Internet Protocol addresses. These addresses identify each device using the Internal Wifi. Because most students connected to the Internal Wifi, and often had more than one device connected, the Internal Wifi ran out of its 4000 IP addresses. This number was initially considered to be more than enough for district owned devices, but what the district did not anticipate was the use of Internal Wifi amongst students. This event prompted the ban of the 196 Internal, and has left many students hoping for a fix in the 196 Guest.

Kelli Maleska, along with several others, is hoping that the administration finds a way to make it easier for students to access the wifi and stay on it. Unfortunately however, students shouldn’t expect any solution in the near future. As far as Mr. George Behnke knows, the district is taking no steps at this time to fix the Guest Wifi. For now all we can do is wait and hope for some sort of solution.

Hang in there Eagan!

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