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-   -   dorm phones (https://community.drew.edu//showthread.php?t=2877)

Rachel B. Posner 08-20-2009 01:15 AM

dorm phones
I got an email saying we had to request phone service in dorm rooms by Aug 23rd. Short notice!

Last year, cell service in my dorm was really lousy. I recall reading cell service campus-wide was supposed to be improved this autumn.

Has there been any upgrade? Anyone know how cell service (AT&T) is in Hoyt? TIA.

Ethan G. Marsh 08-20-2009 02:57 PM

Anecdotally, cell signal appears to be fairly good in Hoyt for both AT&T and Verizon customers. At least compared to say, Tolley.

And no there have not been upgrades yet. It is being looked at though.

E. Axel Larsson 08-20-2009 03:10 PM

There were three technology improvements that were part of the restructuring of the program:
  • Upgrading wired networking and adding wireless networking to the residence halls
  • A virtual desktop solution for commuters (ability to use SPSS and other apps from off-campus)
  • Improvement to the cellular coverage in the residence halls.
The first two have been implemented. The third is still under investigation as Ethan indicated.

Ethan G. Marsh 08-20-2009 03:54 PM

I should probably clarify something. "Upgrade" is a somewhat misleading term, as it implies there is an existing celluar distribution system to improve upon. There is no such system. The cell signal available on campus now comes direct from the cell carriers' towers.

So what we're really talking about when we talk about "improving" or "upgrading" cell coverage is creating a brand new network which would have the effect of allowing students to make calls from cell phones in areas where they currently cannot. There are a few ways to do this, and we're looking at all of them right now. There is no "magic bullet" though. Any system we install will cost a substantial amount of money and incurr ongoing maintenance costs. We'll know more about which direction we're headed in a couple months.

To be fair, it also may be possible to get the carriers to build new towers nearby. However, while this seemed like a plausible scenario several years ago when the major carriers were expanding their networks, at this point in this region they've expanded about as much as they are going to. They are more interested in improving the speed and bandwidth of the existing network than in extending it to cover more territory. We will explore this avenue anyway, since it would unquestionably be the cheapest and most direct way to improve cell service, but it's not likely to bear fruit.

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