Weekly Gripe: Campus Internet in city overdue

By Carl Nadig

NIU should’ve started expanding its wireless network to the downtown DeKalb area years ago to strengthen the relationship between the campus and city, establishing a “communiversity” with the campus Internet as the link.

The Division of Information Technology and DeKalb are negotiating an installation process for the wireless network with a decision to be made by the end of 2014, with a goal to launch service by fall 2015, according to a Tuesday Northern Star article.

NIU adding wireless points on Lincoln Highway would strengthen students’ decision to live closer to the downtown area rather than in pricey apartment complexes next to campus, which would help the downtown community.

Additionally, dealing with NIU’s troubleshooting service would be a better option than going through Internet service providers with unpopular customer service like Comcast.

If NIU wants to raise its enrollment then the university needs to provide the tools necessary for students to succeed, and that includes helping alleviate the cost of Internet. Students don’t need some tools like smartphones for accessing their work, but they need an active Internet account.

But, students who have purchased Internet access through providers have wasted too much on over-priced coverage already. Internet providers add an unnecessary monthly expense.

If this change occurs by next fall, this would be a significant improvement to both the campus and city.