GRCC IT encourages students to use new network

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Many students are connected to multiple devices at once, including laptops, cell phones and tablets.

After the Grand Rapids Community College’s primary wireless network “GRCC Wireless” shut down for a period of time last week, IT administrators said improvements have been made in the days following.  

“Our monitoring tools are saying that the wireless has improved,” said David Anderson, GRCC’s chief information officer.

Anderson said this is due to an increase in devices being used for internet on campus.

“We haven’t seen an increase in enrollment, but we have seen an increase in devices,” Anderson said.

With all student devices and computer labs across campus, over 4,000 devices are connected to “GRCC Wireless” at any given time. Anderson said the network can peak to around 7,000 devices around the middle of the day on Wednesdays.

However, a new pilot network is running this fall that will be used for a specific purpose.

“The traffic on that network would be geared at … educational purposes,” said IT Infrastructure Director Donovan Wallace.

The network “GRCC Secure” blocks webpages like Netflix and gaming sites, but keeps educational sites, like Blackboard, Youtube, even Facebook, open for student use. The college has not officially announced the network because they are still looking at student feedback.

Screenshot: GRCC Secure can be logged into using the same username and password as GRCC Wireless. Kayla Tucker - Editor-in-Chief | The Collegiate Live
Screenshot: GRCC Secure can be logged into using the same username and password as GRCC Wireless.

Wallace said approximately 200 devices are using that network at a given time.

Going forward, Anderson said students should contact IT support if they are having issues with internet connection.

“If we don’t know about it, we can’t do anything about it,” Anderson said.

Anderson added that students should try out the new network, by logging in with their Blackboard username and password, and provide feedback to IT.

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  1. […] From The Collegiate: The GRCC IT team sent out an email Wednesday morning encouraging all students to start using their new network, “GRCC Secure”, for academic internet use. The new network blocks sites like Netflix and Hulu but keeps educational sites, like Blackboard, open for student use. The primary network, “GRCC Wireless,” is still available for educational and gaming site usage alike. Learn more in the Collegiate article. […]

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