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Delving into Walter Johnson’s Wi-Fi problem

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Delving into Walter Johnson’s Wi-Fi problem

Sophomore Jeffrey Sampson is frustrated as he can't get the WJ wireless to load.

Sophomore Jeffrey Sampson is frustrated as he can't get the WJ wireless to load.

Sophomore Jeffrey Sampson is frustrated as he can't get the WJ wireless to load.

Sophomore Jeffrey Sampson is frustrated as he can't get the WJ wireless to load.

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The WJ Wi-Fi sucks, though part of it is understandable. Wi-Fi speed is based upon a few different factors: how close the user is to any given access point,  the number of people using the network at any given point, the speed of the Wi-Fi when no one or close to no one is using it and the device on the Wi-Fi.

To start, the closer a person is to an access point, the stronger the signal will be. That’s simple. The school only has three networks: MCPSGuest, MCPSSecure, and wMCPS. There are almost 2500 students in the building each day, and if each student is using one network, that averages out to around 800-850 students per network. That’s a lot of users, especially if you factor in faculty and guests using the Wi-Fi. As for the basic network speed when barely anyone is using it, this just goes to show that if the Wi-Fi is bad when no one’s using it, it’s going to be even worse when everyone’s using it.

For a while now, I have been collecting data on the various networks here using the site/app speedtest.net and I have found that the wMCPS network can be fast. Really fast. From one test I did at a quiet time in the building, I found that, when there are few users connected, the school Wi-Fi  can be as fast as speeds of 126 Mbps (megabits per second; 1 gigabyte equals 8000 megabits) for downloads and 150 for uploads. Those are the third fastest Wi-Fi speeds I had ever recorded during these trials. On the other end of the spectrum, however, is during the school day: 0.15 Mbps down, 0.22 Mbps up. Speeds like that are slow to the point where it’s unusable, especially given the number of people connected.

And also, for various reasons, the Wi-Fi will just go down, thus not being able to hold a connection for more than 30 seconds at a time.

There are solutions. I would suggest creating more networks (maybe grade/staff specific ones) and/or more access points. I’m pretty sure MCPS would give us the freedom to try that if we wanted to, even if only as a test program. We could even raise the money ourselves through various fundraisers (involving SGA and the like).

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About the Writer
Rafael Friedlander, Staff Writer

Rafael Friedlander is a sophomore excited to be working on the Pitch for the first time. In his free time, he enjoys watching the Astros play, singing,...

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Delving into Walter Johnson’s Wi-Fi problem