WiFi upgrade to begin this summer

To: 
Deans, directors, and department heads
From: 
Ravi Pendse
Date: 
Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Greetings deans, directors, and department heads,

I am pleased to announce that ITS secured capital funding to upgrade the WiFi network across the UM-Ann Arbor campus, with support from the President’s Office, Provost’s Office, and other key leaders. Starting this summer, Information and Technology Services will upgrade campus WiFi so that it meets our campus community’s growing demand for fast and secure connections to support hybrid interactions for learning, teaching, research, and work.

The project will upgrade the WiFi experience in more than 225 locations across the Ann Arbor academic campus, including academic, administrative and residence hall buildings, and outdoor areas. UM-Dearborn provided additional funds to upgrade indoor and outdoor WiFi across their campus, as well.

The project will install new access points that support the WiFi 6E standard. This new hardware uses additional channels to reduce WiFi congestion in areas with a high density of devices, a capability that is critical to meeting WiFi demand in many of the buildings on campus.

After the upgrade, the WiFi performance available will be up to five times the current speed. With the additional speed, most devices will no longer need to use a wired connection, allowing us to reduce the number of wired ports and reduce our electronic waste and carbon footprint.

The project team will work with building facility managers and IT leads to schedule upgrades for each building. The list of buildings and additional information can be found on the WiFi Upgrade Project website.

We will upgrade residential buildings as much as possible before the academic year starts, and will continue through the fall term with academic and administrative buildings following. This timeline provides the highest quality service to the largest number of people while also reducing security risks, minimizing university business disruptions, and reducing the total cost of installation.

With the fast pace of WiFi technology, we are excited to continue to provide a cutting edge WiFi experience to campus with this upgrade. We look forward to your partnership and support as we work together to complete this project. Please reach out to me directly if you have any questions or feedback. I would love to hear from you.

Best regards,

Ravi

Ravi Pendse, PhD
Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer
University of Michigan
rpendse@umich.edu