Students Share Mixed Experiences Utilizing Fordham’s Wi-Fi

While the Office of Information Services reports that connectivity issues are not attributable to Fordham’s Wi-Fi, students have noted lapses in strong network connection


Students have expressed concerns regarding gaining access to a reliable internet connection, with some claiming that they have experienced these difficulties during class registration periods where many students are using the Fordham Wi-Fi at once. 

Katherine Egan, executive director of IT administration, said that the university is aware that students have experienced difficulty during registration.

Egan describes that when registration opened for the fall 2023 period, all students were able to register successfully until the fourth group, which consisted of over  2,700 students.

“Many students tried to register exactly at 8 a.m … about 1,800 students successfully registered in the first 10 minutes, then the system began having server issues,” she explained. “IT, along with the Academic Records team pulled (the server having problems) out of the system, addressed the issue, and put it back online.” 

Egan notes that difficulties experienced during this past course registration process are attributed to the university’s student information system (SIS), which supports the registration process, not internet connectivity issues. However, students have shared concerns that issues they have experienced are attributed to a faulty internet connection. 

Willa Richards, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’26, said she felt frustrated completing her course registration for the fall 2023 semester. 

“Registration definitely is a struggle. Every time so far I’ve had issues with the (Wi-Fi) system,” she said. “I had to wait two hours to sign up for classes. Last semester I tried a personal hotspot, but it didn’t help too much.”

Viviana Flores, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’26, also shared frustrations with the university’s registration process and referred to the process as “unexpectedly and unnecessarily stressful.”

She added that while she tends to have an overall positive experience with campus Wi-Fi, she always relies on her personal hotspot to avoid connectivity issues. During this past registration period, however, Flores expressed disappointment because her efforts to connect to her hot-spot were not helpful due to the registration system crashing. 

“Something about the virtual race to specific classes, at a specific time, at a specific campus, and the impending possibility that the schedule you already have perfectly planned out will not come to fruition causes a wave of anxiety and adrenaline on registration morning.” she said. 

A “concerted effort” is being made to remedy any issues that have persisted with FCLC receiving a recent fiber repair in February 2023.

Egan noted that IT suggests using only one device and one browser window when registering for courses, waiting five seconds to reload pages, confirming a lack of holds on the student’s academic account, registering on the assigned day and calling the IT Service Desk after troubleshooting. 

Katherine Morris, FCRH ’22 and the university’s current IT communications manager, says that less than 50% of bandwidth capacity is being used by Fordham Wi-Fi users on a given day at either campus. Despite this, some students have had difficult experiences connecting to campus Wi-Fi aside from course registration periods.

Sophie Bronstein, a postbaccalaureate premedical student at FCLC, shared that she has had poor experiences utilizing the Lincoln Center Wi-Fi. She noted that the network at Lincoln Center does not recognize her credentials and felt that connectivity at the Rose Hill campus is better. She said that she has had issues with losing connection and disconnecting from the Wi-Fi at Lincoln Center but not at Rose Hill.   

Bronstein has also encountered experiences with her virtual ID failing to load on her phone while connected to the Lincoln Center campus Wi-Fi. 

Unlike Richards and Bronstein, some students have not expressed the same frustration with on-campus internet connections. Flores said that she has had an overall positive experience with her Wi-Fi connectivity aside from issues faced during class registration. 

“I have not had any serious issues with the Wi-Fi this year, apart from a few crashes or instabilities that seem to correct themselves in seconds,” Flores said.

According to Morris, IT actively monitors connectivity issues and regularly tests the university’s Wi-Fi network by loading popular sites such as Google, Facebook and Netflix and assessing the wireless connection on speedtest sites. She added that the office looks at all service tickets to review coverage issues and said that the on-campus Wi-Fi connection has never maxed out because of the quantity of devices attempting to access the network. Morris said that the Wi-Fi is impacted by numerous external forces that can affect coverage and speed.

Regarding technical issues associated with class registration, Egan noted that IT and Fordham’s SIS vendor are addressing potential solutions while the university investigates other options. 

According to the IT department, the university underwent its most recent remodeling of its wireless network in 2017 in an effort to mitigate the interference students, faculty and staff experience. In addition, a “concerted effort” is being made to remedy any issues that have persisted with FCLC receiving a recent fiber repair in February 2023.

The Office of Information Technology encourages all members of the Fordham community to submit service tickets for IT services, including accessing the Wi-Fi network by emailing [email protected], calling 718-817-3999 or visiting the Tech Help page in the portal.