Monday, December 21, 2015

BREAKING: Student access to school wifi temporarily suspended. Long Term Solution to Use FIBER

Beginning last Friday, Students won’t be able to access the school’s wireless network with personal devices due to a system overload. The measure is temporary until MCPS addresses the system overload during winter break, computer support technician Greg Thomas said.

“Because of so many students having cell phones that are on all the time, there’s been a spike in the demand,” Thomas said. “We’re overloading the equipment, and it’s failing.”

Around 1500 student devices are routinely connected to the wireless network and have exceeded its capacity, leaving staff members unable to use their personal devices and students unable to connect to the internet on Chromebooks, according to an email from Thomas. As a result, the MCPS Wide Area Network department turned off login access to students on Thursday. Thomas said that this measure will combat issues teachers faced because of their inability to access the Internet.

“If a teacher has a class using Chromebooks, he might not be able to connect,” Thomas said.
Comcast’s attempt to install a modem to provide temporary improvement was unsuccessful, principal Alan Goodwin said in a follow-up email. An MCPS team will be at the school to address the issue during winter break, he said.

MCPS is also working on a long-term solution using fiber. This solution will take several months, but will be a major improvement, Thomas said.

While it won’t be long before the Wi-Fi is up and running again, Thomas said that he thinks there will be some improvements now that students can’t use their phones as effectively.

“Students will be learning more and have fewer distractions, Thomas said. “I don’t think most students’ cell phone uses are part of the educational program here. You can still chat with people without using a phone.”


  1. Cell phones are used as part of the curriculum in several classes. How do I know this? Because at the back-to-school night I attended- Teachers specifically discussed this. , some teachers stated that cell phones had to be put away in class. other teachers talked about how they use the cell phones in class to do projects with the children.

  2. Are they playing Tic-Tac-Toe?

    1. Many wireless devices, including phones, automatically connect to available wireless networks unless their users set their preferences for that not to happen. Even if the phones aren't being actively used by students, the phones are still connected.

    2. But, if they are not actively used they don't hoard the allocated bandwidth and thus it should remain available for the intended users.

    3. My phone still gets social media updates on its own, even when I'm not actively using it. I've been at events at private homes where the homeowners had to change their wifi passwords in order to not use up all their allotted minutes when groups of people came to visit because of that happening (or so we were told), because not enough people could figure out how to disable that capacity before they arrived on-site.

  3. That's how the carriers set the default mode in order to maximize their profits.


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