Written by Aaron Choi
December 14, 2016 was a day that all Sternies lost a piece of their exclusivity, receiving notice that “SternOnTheMove” and “SternOnTheMove2” would be removed to make way for the university-wide wifi-network “nyu.” Students were notified that with this new network came faster internet speeds, consistent login credentials for networks at Stern and NYU, as well as heightened cyber security. However, not everyone was buying it.
A petition against this action circulated among Stern students in the subsequent days, receiving over 300 signatures. Many students felt that an all-inclusive network would lead to slower speeds from the heightened activity. Nevertheless, these petitions did not change the administration’s decision; the following month, “nyu” was made the only wifi network at Stern whilst its former networks were removed for good.
Following an interview with Neil Rader, the Chief Operative Officer of NYU Stern, it was clear the network switch was a logical decision. Stern’s exclusive networks were quite old, and the costs associated with their constant maintenance and upgrades to function simply did not outweigh their added benefit to the Stern body. Servers need constant upgrades, and the logistical nightmare of managing the efficiency and security of three networks—as opposed to one—meant compromising the quality of each. By focusing the allotted budget on only one network, Stern has been able to improve the area of wifi coverage across all of NYU Stern’s buildings, as well as the strength of the signal. The increased internet traffic would not be a problem either; as the money Stern saved by the switch was used to reinvest within its technological infrastructure.
We now boast newly renovated servers as well as cooling systems to ensure that our wireless systems can continue to run. In addition, by switching to the all-University network, Stern has sent a message that it is an inclusive member of the NYU community.
While “SternOnTheMove” and “SternOnTheMove2” operated, NYU Stern was charged for the upkeep and maintenance of the internet system, despite also paying New York University for use of its wifi network. These costs can add up over time, and ultimately come at the expense of higher students’ tuition. Moreover, by reducing the expenses required to operate NYU Stern, tuition increases might be only 2.9% instead of the national average of 3.3%. With regards to funding higher education, a little goes a long way, and Stern is doing its part in the movement towards student affordability.
The wifi switch replaced an outdated wifi system with one that is cheaper to run and easier to manage. The money that goes from reducing expenses is ultimately reinvested within Stern and the student body, planting seeds for new sitting areas, lounges, and study rooms. By focusing on only one network, NYU Stern is better able to service its internet needs—and you won’t have to worry about dropped wifi when you need it most.