Wi-Fi System Updates Continue

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In addition to finishing on-campus construction, Los Altos plans to undergo additional Wi-fi improvements in the fall semester to further refine Wi-fi’s accessibility and security. Los Altos has already gone through considerable Wi-fi renovations over the summer, having upgraded to a new wireless manufacturer known as Ruckus to minimize connectivity issues that have plagued the school in previous years.

Currently, Wi-fi offers several service set identifiers (SSID) such as “MVLA-Student” and “MVLA-Guest” but after future reconstructions, students will sign in with their MVLA accounts in order to connect to the appropriate Wi-fi network. The district aims to finalize these Wi-fi developments by the end of the fall semester, allowing students to test its capabilities in the spring. The renovations hope to increase efficiency schoolwide.

“[The wifi] will prove to be more secure, more successful and more available for everybody on campus,” Director of Information Services Barney Gordon said. “We’ll run both systems in parallel for a while, giving everyone the opportunity to migrate over.”

The previous Wi-fi system used wireless access points with multiple “radios” which interfered with each other in the tight region of a classroom. Ruckus’ new wireless access points each have a single “radio” with a 360 degree transmission which is more suitable for a classroom setting.  

Over the summer, the district created a new layout for the location of these access points on campus which allowed the installation of the access points to strengthen wireless coverage both inside and outside school buildings.

“We had a a lot of new data cables pulled to various rooms,” Gordon said. “In the quad, outdoor parking lot [and] the football field, you should get wireless access as well. So we have outdoor coverage as well as indoor coverage.”

As developments for the Wi-fi progress, the district is confident in the capacity of the new system but mindful of potential difficulties and adjustments to account for, such as this year’s student population increase.  

“If there’s an area that a lot of students tend to congregate, then we might need to set up more access points, so there’ll be some fine tuning over the school year,” Gordon said. “I think [the system] is still certainly adequate and sufficient enough to handle all the students at Los Altos.”