New Wi-Fi and Chromebook updates since shutdown

Staff Writer

The Guest Wi-Fi has been turned on in major areas, including the MPR, library and gym, to test its capabilities since the recent Wi-Fi upgrade extended the number of devices that can connect to the Wi-Fi. Additionally,  20 Chromebooks have been added throughout the science department, so far without any issues.

The science department purchased 20 Chromebooks with donations and money raised at the beginning of the year, unlike the AP English Language and Composition and DHH Chromebooks, which were purchased through the school’s fund. The science Chromebooks account for 20 additional devices on the network, but are expected to have minimal effect on the efficiency of the Wi-Fi connectivity due to the upcoming infrastructural upgrades. Additionally, these Chromebooks will be connected to the teachers’ Wi-Fi and not the Guest Wi-Fi. “We just want to make sure that the devices that we buy as a district get priority over student devices,” Mr. Dominic Fratantaro (Librarian) said.

As of now, there are no plans to buy more Chromebooks. Once all the upgrades have been completed, classrooms that have been using them will be assessed to determine a plan for future Chromebooks.

The district plan for Chromebooks is to create a one-to-one network, one device to one student. It is also planning to have more than one active connection per individual, by having 10 drops, or network connections, per classroom. By doing so, there will be one drop for a projector, one for a phone and eight for other necessary devices.

The infrastructural upgrade of the school depends on when the backbone, which includes the fiber-line and switches that handle device traffic, is completed. This completion is scheduled for the end of November. Without the backbone, even if the new equipment is installed, the upgrade of the Wi-Fi will not work. From then on, the network service company will come in to install the switches. “You’ll see that in some classrooms now too, these large black boxes in the corner of the ceiling because they’re installing the backbone and upgrades of switches,” said Fratantaro.

The upgrade is in progress but so far there is not a clear timeline for its completion, due to Irvine’s stress on building codes and related regulations. “That’s why it’s going to take a little while,” said Mr. Dat Tay (Tech). “But hopefully by the end of 2017, our infrastructure will be upgraded and done.”