News and Alerts

To: Members of the Stevens Community    
From: David Dodd, Vice President for Information Technology & CIO
Date: August 18, 2014
Subject: New Wireless Network at Stevens

I am pleased to let you know that the major upgrades to improve the Stevens campus network are well underway and moving forward to successful completion.  For example, during the summer over 3,300 feet of new fiber optic cable and over 20,000 feet of new copper Ethernet cabling were installed on campus.  And, Stevens’ internet access is now 4x faster than in the past.

The network project is a large project that covers the entire campus, and involves close collaboration with staff, faculty and students in every area of the university.  As such, this project demonstrates three principles of the Stevens Strategic Plan, The Future.  Ours to Create.  These principles are:

  • Excellence in All We Do
  • Technology at Our Core
  • Through Collaboration, Impact.

One of the changes you will see very soon involves the new wireless network that is being brought online now.  During the summer new, high-speed wireless access points have been installed and we are now beginning user migration to the new wireless network.  By the end of this week, 800 new wireless access points will have been installed.  When completed, the new wireless network will have over 3x as many access points as previously, and users will have speeds of at least 4x faster and some up to 30x faster than on the old wireless system, much of which was 10+ years old. 

I want to draw your attention to several key changes users will experience involving the new wireless network, in addition to faster speeds and better availability:

  • For added security as well as improved ease-of-use, a new user authentication and onboarding system will be used.  Through this system, faculty, staff, and students will authenticate to the wireless network using their Stevens’ username and password upon initial login, and each time their Stevens password is changed.  
  • For improved ease-of-use, efficiency, and security, the “Stevens Student” network has been merged with the “Stevens” wireless network.  All students will now logon to “Stevens” wireless.
  • To ensure full availability of network-based services, faculty, staff, and students will be directed to use the “Stevens” wireless network, and not the “Stevens Guest” network.
  • The “Stevens Guest” network will be available for visitors and those without Stevens’ credentials (username and password).

In preparation for the new wired network, which will be deployed as soon as the wireless network has been completed, other changes are being made to increase security and improved user experience.  These changes include the following:

  • Over the past month, most campus networked printers have been configured with a host name in addition to an IP network address, and a label with the host name has now been affixed to each networked printer.  User Support Services, under the leadership of Director Karen Swift, will be working with all users affected by this change to ensure that any needed modifications are made to personal computers regarding networked printing. 
  • Users will be required to authenticate to the wired network (i.e. connecting using an Ethernet cable) upon initial use, and each time their Stevens password is changed.

James Cunningham, project manager for the networking project, is contacting users in advance when work is scheduled to occur in their locations.   Please know that very careful planning and testing has been done in preparation for these changes, and that we are doing everything possible to avoid service interruptions during hours of normal operations.  When the users in a building are migrated to the new wireless and wired networks, Information Technology will have a team of support staff in each building to assist users with any problems they may experience, and to answer any questions. 

We appreciate your understanding and support as we work to take Stevens to a new level of Excellence, Technology, and Collaboration.