Wireless ResNet

News about the forthcoming Wireless ResNet service

ResNet Wired, ResNet Wireless, eduroam on campus, 3 systems, 2 setup tools, 2 sets of instructions… that’s all a bit confusing, perhaps it’s time we simplified all that.

This summer, we’re going to wave goodbye to ResNet Wireless and make eduroam available in the halls of residence.  This will mean that you only have to set up your computer/phone/tablet once, and it’ll work in halls and on campus.   Much simpler for you, and much easier for us to support!

We’ve made the first step in that direction already, and the eduroam wireless signal is now available in halls.  If your computer is already set up to use eduroam when you’re on campus you’ll find you can already use eduroam in your room!  Somewhere around 12% of the devices we normally see connecting to ResNet Wireless are already connecting to the eduroam signal.

We’ve still got a bit of work to do to transition fully to eduroam in halls, but the timeline looks a bit like this:

  • 7th May 2013 – we added the eduroam (and Bristol-WiFi-Setup) signals to the wireless coverage in halls
  • 17th June 2013 – we’ll start contacting those who haven’t migrated, so that if they’re staying on in halls they don’t lose out
  • 24th June 2013 – we switch off the ResNet Wireless signal

Somewhere in between those two dates we’ll be launching a new version of the connection instructions for new users, updating the website, and making sure that anyone who hasn’t moved over to eduroam does so. The IT Service Desk will be laying on some additional telephone support (starting on the 24th June) for anyone who needs help migrating – we don’t want to leave anyone stranded with no internet!

The super-high-speed ResNet Wired service will be staying around, and will not be changing.  At some point in the future (probably 2014/2015) we’d like to make the setup of the wired service the same as eduroam.  The idea being that you set up your computer once and use it on the wired or wireless, seamlessly – but that’s a little way off yet!

Over the Christmas period we’ve been busily installing additional wireless points to improve some of the gaps in our ResNet Wireless coverage.

  • Churchill – we’ve installed 4 new wireless points at in MPQR block, doubling the coverage in that building.
  • Goldney Hall – we’ve installed 14 new wireless points.

Customers in those locations should see an improvement in signal strength and reliability as a result of this work.

We’re aware that there are still areas of poor coverage elsewhere on ResNet, and work is underway to close up the gaps.  Most notably, we hope to be installing additional wireless points in Deans Court (26 new wireless points) and Unite House (36 new wireless points) in the near future.

This issue has now been resolved – see updates at bottom of post.  If you believe you are still having wireless problems then please contact the IT Service Desk.

We are aware of some specific ResNet wireless connection problems at Deans Court and Unite House and would like to assure our customers that we are working to improve the coverage.  If you’re affected by these problems, we recommend using the ResNet Wired service until we’re able to resolve the coverage issue.

ResNet Wireless was installed in these buildings within the last six months.  Once installed it was essential to survey every room to see if the installation met our expectations.   Unfortunately because the building was occupied we were unable to do this survey work until the last two weeks of September.

We’re still analysing the results for most halls, but we’ve already highlighted a number of rooms at Deans Court and Unite Hose which had poor or no wireless signal strength.

We are not happy about this situation because we aim to provide the best possible connection for all our customers.  Over the next few months we will be installing additional Wireless Access Points into low signal areas .

We plan to complete the work required before Christmas 2012.

We’ll post updates about the process here when we have more information, including details of any other halls where we’re not happy with the coverage.

Update 6th Feb 2013 – Mark (ResNet Manager)

We really wanted to get the service in Deans Court and Unite House up to the high standards you expect of the Residential Network but due to circumstances beyond our control we have not me the Christmas deadline we set ourselves.

The good news is that we are really close to commissioning the 38 additional Wireless Access Points (WAPs) installed into Deans Court and the 26 additional WAPs into Unite House.  We’d love to give an exact date but unfortunately we can’t although we really hope to get fully working wireless by Friday 8th February.

Update 7th Feb 2013 – Mark (ResNet Manager)

We’ll be on-site today in both locations installing network equipment so we should have everything working by Friday 8th.

Update 8th Feb 2013 – Mark (ResNet Manager)

Great news, we have managed to get all Wireless working in Deans Court and Unite House today so coverage is greatly improved.  We are really sorry this has taken a little longer than originally planned but hope you are happy with the results.

Good news for residents in Langford’s Hostels – We’ve added ResNet Wireless so you can now connect your computers, smartphones and tablets more conveniently!

Here is some info on how to connect…

http://www.bris.ac.uk/it-services/advice/homeusers/resnet/connect/wireless

 

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in the smaller student houses. Starting on Monday 30th April and continuing until Friday 4th May our contractors will be on-site installing cabling and over 20 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

Adding wireless to these properties will increase Residential wireless coverage to just over 96%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit <http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/wireless>

If you have any questions then please get in touch by email but please check <http://www.bristolresnet.net> before doing so as progress updates will be posted there.

 Update 8/5/2012 by Mark

Our contractor was hoping to have this installed by now but we’re having supply issues with the wireless access points and switches.  On Friday we received the majority of the WAPs so the cabling contractor can now crack on with the install.  Watch this space for further updates.

Update 21/5/2012 by Mark

You’ve probably noticed that the WAPs are being installed.  You’ve also probably noticed that when they are installed they don’t seem to work.  There’s a good reason for that.  We are still waiting for the switches to be delivered so that we can plug the WAPs in.   The order for the switches went in nearly 5 weeks ago but there seem to be supply chain issues, the result of which is long lead-times on the switches we need.  I’ve asked our supplier for an update and I will update this blog when I know more.

Update 21/5/2012 @ 11:20 by Mark

Our supplier has told us that we should expect the switches this week.  We then need to configure them and install them in the cabinets in the houses.  I’d love to guarantee working wireless this week but this totally depends on when the switches arrive and how much time we have to configure/install them.

Update 30/5/2012 @ 11:20 by Mark

Switches are in but we are waiting to have them configured.  If all goes well we’ll be installing the switches this week.  I know we’ve had a few prompts from people eager to have wireless, and I’m really sorry it’s taken so long, but we are getting there!  I’ll update the blog and email everyone when the installations are complete.

 Update 01/05/2012 @ 16:30 by Mark

We’ve finally installed and configured all WAPs in Student Houses – just in time for the Jubilee!  We are now at over 98% wireless coverage in ResNet and we’re planning the install of the last 2%.  Sorry things took a little longer than expected but we got there in the end.

 

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with Unite and cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in Unite House and Chantry Court. Starting on Wednesday 11th April our contractors will be on-site installing cabling and over 50 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

We do not have a completion date but hope the installation will be completed before the end of the Easter Vacation.

Adding wireless to these properties will increase Residential wireless coverage from 80% to just over 95%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit

This post will be updated with any useful information as and when we have some.

Update 23/4/2012

We currently have all but 2 of the 51 wireless access points installed in Unite House and Chantry Court fully working.  We are working on the 2 that are not happy and hope to have them up soon.  We can see that 171 of you have used the wireless already which is great.  If you’ve not used ResNet wireless then you can do so by connecting to the ResNet-Setup wireless signal and visiting go.resnet.bristol.ac.uk.

Update 8/5/2012

Okay, all wireless access points in Unite House and Chantry Court are up and running – they were last week, I just forgot to update this post.  If you are having any problems connecting then we have pages to help connect.  If you’re having problems with signal strength then there is a survey that will help us identify problem areas.

 

Over the last few months the ResNet team have been working with A2Dominion and cabling contractors on a plan to install ResNet Wireless in Deans Court.  Starting on Friday 18th November our contractors will be on-site installing cabling
and 30 Wireless Access Points to flat hallways – access should not be required to your room so the disruption should be minimal.

We do not have a completion date but hope the installation will be completed before the end of the term (16th December 2011).

Adding wireless to Deans Court will increase Residential wireless coverage from 68% to just over 75%

For more information on ResNet Wireless please visit <http://www.resnet.bristol.ac.uk/wireless>

This post will be updated with any useful information as and when we have some.

 Update 09-12-2011
All cables have been installed but only some have been terminated. Swicthes are installed. We are a waiting for completion of cable termination which we expect to be next week. Looks like we are on target for completion by the end of this term 🙂

 Update 20-12-2011
The installation of Wireless ResNet was completed late last week and 28 of the 30 access points are now up and we’ve seen over 60 people using them already. We are looking into fixing the two that have never come alive either today or tomorrow. We hope you enjoy using Wireless ResNet.

We’ve been experiencing some problems with the ResNet Wireless service at Northwell House and Winkworth House.  The wired service, and wireless access in other locations around the university are not affected.

There are two distinct issues, which have combined to cause a rather complicated and confusing result, so much so that I’m not really sure how best to describe the situation!

The main symptoms people have been seeing are:

  • The wireless connectivity became unstable (we think on Monday, but possibly over the weekend), meaning that peoples wireless connections were unreliable.
  • The wireless bandwidth accounting encountered a problem and started counting peoples traffic multiple times, leading to people being cut off for going over their quota – without them actually doing so.

We’ve made some changes to the wireless network which we think will improve the stability again, hopefully returning us to normal service stability, and we’re busy fixing the bandwidth accounting.

We are picking our way through those who are affected by the accounting issue, restoring their bandwidth quotas and putting things back to normal.  Until we’ve completed this work, Wireless ResNet data isn’t being updated through My ResNet or the RSS feed/bandwidth gadgets We will be emailing those affected with more details in due course.

We’re really sorry for the inconvenience, especially during the exam season!

For the last two weeks we have been logging users’ wireless ResNet usage and have just made this viewable (if you have any) via MyResNet

Because wireless, unlike wired, ResNet usage includes internal usage we are not yet including this in your weekly allowance – it’s just for information.  We will be monitoring wireless usage to make sure it’s not being abused by individuals.  We believe that our wired weekly usage allowance is very generous, so excessive use of the wireless should not be necessary.

We will soon be running a pilot wireless version of ResNet in Northwell House. This will provide wireless Internet access to ResNet subscribers in study bedrooms, kitchens and other communal areas in Northwell House. We have selected Northwell because we needed a medium size residence for the pilot. This is in addition to the Wireless Hotspots already available on campus and in some public areas of the halls.

We want to run a pilot so that we can work out the best ways to provide wireless ResNet and get some feed back from students.

What are the benefits of Wireless ResNet?

  • We can provide access in common areas like kitchens
  • You can move your computer between rooms
  • We can provide access to more than one computer per person
  • We hope to provide access to a broader range of devices, such as some handheld computers and games consoles
Cabled ResNet Wireless ResNet
Higher speed You can use more than one computer
You can use FreeWire TV You can use mobile devices
Higher reliability Available in communal areas

Why run a pilot?
We need to be sure that Wireless ResNet will work before we roll it out to thousands of students! The trial gives us the opportunity to test our hardware and to collect feedback from the users participating in the trial. We are sure we will need to make adjustments throughout the trial, so we have a smooth launch and a great level of service when we are able to roll out Wireless ResNet to all residences.

Who can take part in the trial?
As mentioned above, the pilot is only available in Northwell House. Furthermore, only existing ResNet subscribers will be able to use Wireless ResNet.

What kind of computers are compatible with Wireless ResNet?
To start with, you will need Windows XP, Windows Vista, Mac OS X or Linux to be able to use Wireless ResNet on your computer. We hope to add support for many other devices later in the pilot.

How long will it be until Wireless ResNet is made available to all?
This will depend on information gathered in the trial, financial constraints and the time needed to install wireless equipment in 5000 rooms. Universal wireless access to all study bedrooms will be very expensive so we don’t know when we will be able to deliver it. We think it will be very popular among students, and we are running a pilot to find out how people use it. We do know that Wireless ResNet won’t be available in other residences at least for this academic year.

Will cabled ResNet be taken away when Wireless ResNet is turned on?
No. Wireless ResNet will not affect the existing cabled service. However, you will have the ability to use more than one computer, or to use your games console, handheld computer or smartphone on wireless ResNet. You will be able to use either service, or both services, as you please.

How much will Wireless ResNet cost?
For the duration of the trial, Wireless ResNet available for ResNet subscribers at Northwell House at no extra cost. You are helping us by testing out the service and providing feedback! We haven’t yet decided how much it will cost, or even if we will charge extra for Wireless ResNet when it made available to all residences.

I live at Northwell. What do I do to use the pilot?
For now, all we ask is that you fill in our survey. When the pilot is ready to go live, we will be in touch by email.