Next Gen² Network Survey says: More connectivity, more coverage

In April 2022, the Next Gen² Network project invited UW-Madison to share opinions on how and where we could improve outdoor wireless on campus. We received 141 responses with requests for us to add or improve wireless network access, including but not limited to the following locations:

  • Bascom Hill and surrounding areas
  • The Unions
  • Housing
  • Outdoor patios
  • Camp Randall
  • Along University Ave
  • Parking ramps
  • WIMR and the Hospital complex

Respondents said they experienced dropped connections and slow or no internet access in these areas. In addition, our respondents expressed a desire for increased internet access while working and studying outdoors, holding outdoor meetings, and the need for consistent internet access while moving between buildings on campus.

Improving Wireless Networking on Campus

One cornerstone of the Next Gen Network project is the update and expansion of wireless access on campus, both indoors and outdoors. With daily device connectivity peaking at over 65,000 devices during the semester, DoIT’s Network Services team has been hard at work building out a coverage model capable of delivering an accessible signal to all devices on campus with additional capacity to grow.

Indoor wireless connectivity was addressed first, with over 17,500 indoor wireless access points across campus to upgrade hardware and improve wireless communications. The majority of these upgrades were completed during Summer of 2021, with additional deployments to strengthen indoor coverage ongoing as part of regular operations. Outdoor wireless hardware upgrades will begin soon.

To learn more on our plans to build a modern, reliable, secure, and scalable network infrastructure for UW-Madison, please explore the Next Gen² Network project site.