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The Hanover WiFi Blues

UCLA WiFI.jpgThere was a time not too long ago — about 30-40 years in the past — when Dartmouth’s information infrastructure was the envy of academe: John Kemeny had written BASIC with eager undergrads; other schools logged onto the Dartmouth Time Sharing System (DTSS) over phone lines at a blinding 300 baud; and the College earned Wired Magazine’s Most Wired Campus award more often than not. As late as 1998 we won Yahoo! Magazine’s award for best campus technology, and in 2002 Wired profiled us for a ground-breaking roll-out of an all-campus WiFi network. No more.

This past weekend on a visit to UCLA I could connect in one click to the campus UCLA-Roam WiFi network and download Jane Got Her Gun from iTunes in 2:30. Look at the download/upload rates to the right. Meanwhile at the College this week, each time I connected to the Dartmouth Public network (even if I did so at ten-minute intervals), I had deal with an annoying splash screen (below) and click on a “Continue” button in order to connect to a slow-as-digital-molasses network where I might even now still be downloading Natalie Portman’s latest movie. How the data rates (and the mighty) have fallen:

Dartmouth WiFi comp.jpg

When prospective students visit the College, they leave with a poor impression for any number of reasons.


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