Upgrades strengthen Internet at the Flats


Katie Petrosky, a senior at Youngstown State University and resident of the Flats at Wick, said she experienced problems with the Internet there in the fall.

“They told us last semester that because the building was so big, the router was not reaching the far wing of the building,” Petrosky said.

This spring, however, Petrosky said she has seen improvements in signal strength.

Dominic Marchionda, president of US Campus Suites, the company that owns the Flats, said the problems residents had been experiencing was the result of a wiring issue.

“The issue was addressed over winter break,” Marchionda said. “Fiber optic cable was added to the building. … We spent tens of thousands of dollars fixing the problem that existed, and any complaints were immediately addressed.”

Crissa Palowitz, account executive at Data Recovery Services, the company that upgraded the Internet system at the Flats, said the problems also stemmed from ceiling interference, specifically in rooms on the ends of the building.

To counter the interference, Palowitz said the bandwidth in the building was increased, external antennas were added and wireless access points were updated.

The upgrade included replacement routers on both wings of each floor. Eight routers were replaced.

Jessica Vivo Morgione, property manager for the Flats, said after the installation of the new access points, management was reassured that they are working.

On Feb. 23, Vivo Morgione sent an email to all Flats residents asking them to report any problems they may be experiencing with the Internet.

“We’ve taken every single step to be on top of this issue,” Vivo Morgione said. “Students sometimes assume [the problem] is an Internet issue, when sometimes it is their equipment having problems.”

Vivo Morgione added that all equipment installed over winter break is top of the line.

The Flats upgraded to Cisco routers with a 100 MB fiber circuit and 40 MB of Internet access for the entire building.

“The Flats started with residential routers and has upgraded to commercial routers,” Palowitz said.

Another issue that added to the Internet problems in the past was students installing personal routers in their rooms to try and increase wireless speeds.

“We’ve addressed that with the residents,” Vivo Morgione said. “We can’t monitor everything the residents do, but we think they have cooperated with us.”

Senior electrical engineering major Audria Grubbs says she hasn’t been able to access the Internet anywhere in the building since September.

“It’s frustrating,” Grubbs said. “I’ve seen no improvement since coming this semester.”

Vivo Morgione said the Flats staff is willing to look at Grubbs’ computer to figure out the problem, but thinks that Grubbs is having an equipment malfunction.

“If the people on her floor have access to the Internet, it’s probably an issue with her computer,” Vivo Morgione said.

Additional reporting by Andrea Wilfong

1 comments Anonymous Wed Jul 25 2012 20:51 The Flats always had some sort of excuse for the substandard internet service they offered. They always blamed it on your computer even after you were hooked up to the wall with a three foot cable. They also keep your security deposit for routine maintenance issues. Just not a good place to live!!!