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News from NGN: St. Paul WiFi upgrade complete

May 17, 2017
Next Generation Network graphic

The Next Generation Network (NGN) project at the University of Minnesota will upgrade all components of the University's network, both wired and WiFi, over the next three years. The new network will increase speed and throughput capacity, improve WiFi access, and implement an advanced security infrastructure. This upgrade will be system-wide, including all campuses and satellite locations across the state.

Upgrading WiFi is the first phase of the NGN project. WiFi upgrades were completed on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities St. Paul campus in a mere 10 days at the beginning of May 2017. Check out some fun facts from the first round of WiFi upgrades: 

Next Generation Network infographic

The NGN teams have moved to the West Bank to implement WiFi upgrades. After West Bank is complete, the NGN team will continue to the East Bank, outstate locations, and system campuses.

NGN installation teams are moving very quickly and efficiently through each building, and end users are reporting speed increases, improved connection times, and an overall improved WiFi experience on campus. Impact to end users and the Technology Help service desk has been very low. The NGN teams have received positive feedback on the project and performance:

"The day before WiFi was upgraded in my building I was being dropped several times. Once the new WiFi system was installed I have not lost my connection. Better yet, the speeds are a significant improvement. Very smooth transition."

"When I got into work after my vacation I noticed WiFi was working remarkably well. After checking the NGN website I realized my building was upgraded. Other than this welcomed improvement I was not aware of the work that was being done. Thank you for a very smooth upgrade."

"I asked the WiFi upgrade team to review the options for rescheduling our building. The NGN team accommodated my request by moving my building sooner than originally scheduled. The upgrade was performed on the day promised. Thank you."

"Wow it is so much faster. This is so cool."

"I work in Cargill and I was unaware that the WiFi system was being upgraded. I would not have known except Jen from the upgrade team stopped by to check to see how my service was doing. Jen also helped us find and fix a few printers that were interfering with the WiFi system."

"Now it just works like it should have."

"I saw a worker replacing something on the ceiling that I thought was a smoke detector. When I asked him what he was doing he said he was upgrading WiFi. A few minutes later he was gone and my service is better than ever."

"I noticed WiFi was dropping my service again. Frustrated I went to go look at the WiFi access point outside my office and found a guy on a ladder taking it down and replacing it with a new one. I just thought is was a typical bad day for WiFi. Once he was done I connected to the new service and it is working wonderfully. Thank you."

"They came in, replaced the WiFi unit, and left within minutes. It works great now. Thank you."

Work is ongoing for the Next Generation Network (NGN) project and WiFi access point upgrades are continuing on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus from May through August 2017. You can view the WiFi upgrade schedule at it.umn.edu/ngn-schedule. Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

If you would like to share your feedback regarding NGN or if you have any questions, please contact the NGN team at ngn@umn.edu.