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Wi-Fi issues on campus - update 27

15 Oct 2021

Information about Wi-Fi issues being experienced by staff and students on campus

Latest update (3pm, Friday 22 October)

The change to the University's Wi-Fi service last night was successful, and Network colleagues are on campus today to monitor connectivitity.

Update 26 (4pm, Thursday 21 October)

Work was completed on Saturday 16 October to fully resolve the Wi-Fi issues that we’ve experienced across campus recently. This work was successful and can be seen as a permanent fix. We now need to remove the previous workaround that was in place. This is scheduled to be done between 6pm and 7pm tonight. We are able to remove this workaround due to the successful deployment of the permanent fix last weekend. There is not expected to be end user disruption as a result of this change. Network colleagues will be monitoring connectivity throughout.

Update 25 (1.05pm, Friday 15 October)

To allow us to fully resolve the Wi-Fi issues, we need to make some changes to our Wi-Fi setup over the next few days, which have been requested by our network equipment manufacturer. 

On Saturday 16 October at some point between 9am and 4pm, there will be a minor impact to Wi-Fi service while a particular piece of work takes place. If you’re attempting to connect to Wi-Fi while this happens, you may need to try to connect again in 10 minutes. However, if you’re already connected to Wi-Fi while this happens, your connection should not be disrupted.

Our Network Operations Centre colleagues will be monitoring the services throughout the work and acting accordingly, if indeed any action is needed.

Additional work is proposed to take place on Monday 18 and Wednesday 20 October, however, similar work has previously been carried out with no impact to service. 

Update 24 (12.25pm, Thursday 14 October)

Following work which has taken place over the past week, Wi-Fi service performance has been tracked by the number of requests raised, surveys in University buildings, conversations with senior University colleagues and daily discussions with technical colleagues across various teams.

The number of calls has remained low compared to previous weeks, indicating that the user experience has improved. However, we are not yet stating that the issues are resolved. Our Network Operations Centre are continuing to work with the manufacturer of the network equipment to identify the cause before we can confirm the issues are completely resolved to our satisfaction. Additional work is taking place to deal with other localised Wi-Fi issues.

Due to the decreased number of reports about Wi-Fi issues, relevant information about the resolution of the problem will now be emailed directly from the IT Support Portal, to people who have submitted reports of Wi-Fi issues to the IT Support Centre. Updates to this article will only be posted if there is significant information we need to share with our staff and student community. Therefore, if you do still have a problem with Wi-Fi, please ensure you have reported it to the IT Support Centre.

Again, sincere apologies for the impact this disruption has caused to our staff and students, especially those for whom teaching and learning activities have been affected. 

Update 23 (1.45pm, Wednesday 13 October)

Site surveys in several buildings yesterday further confirmed that Wi-Fi connectivity is greatly improved across campus, but further work is needed to resolve the separate Wi-Fi issues some people are experiencing in the Main Library and Martin Harris building. Our networks team are working with colleagues in those buildings to discuss these plans.

As always, we want to know about anyone experiencing any issues. Please report, using the instructions in the previous update below.

Importantly, we’re aware that some people are still using the UoM_WiFi network instead of eduroam. While we fully understand that some people may have chosen to use this while there were widespread issues, it is only able to support a limited number of users at once. This means that people are now more likely to encounter issues using UoM_WiFi than they would be if they’re using eduroam.

Update 22 (12.05pm, Tuesday 12 October)

Reviews of Wi-Fi over the past few days continue to indicate a much improved service, however observations in some buildings suggest that there are separate and localised Wi-Fi issues in certain areas. So far, two of these locations identified are Main Library and Martin Harris building. These sites are receiving visits from our Network Operations Centre colleagues to review the specific problems.

If you’re still experiencing issues in a particular area, please log a request even if you have done so already. Note the slight change in the instructions below:

  1. Visit the IT Guest Portal, click Request Support and then Report Issue.
  2. On the form, include the word WiFi and the location affected in the Summary line. In the Description box, include the time of the issue and the device(s) with which you’re unable to connect.
  3. Are you able to connect to eduroam and being told there is no internet connection, are you unable to connect to eduroam at all, or is the performance poor?
  4. If it’s possible for you to include this, your device’s Wireless Physical (MAC) address is very useful information. Read the “ Find your Wireless MAC address ” article on the Knowledge Base (search for Wireless MAC) for information about how to find this.

Update 21 (2.30pm, Monday 11 October)

We’ve been monitoring Wi-Fi throughout the day in various buildings on campus. After Friday’s work, we have noticed an increase in performance and stability, with fewer reports received by the IT Support Centre, although as noted earlier we know there are additional Wi-Fi issues in the Main Library.

Comprehensive monitoring and onsite testing will continue until we’re happy that the problem has been resolved.

We need to know about all staff and students who are still experiencing a Wi-Fi issue. If you’ve not already reported it, it’s important that you do so, so we can ensure all cases are investigated, even if they’re unrelated to the widespread issue.

  1. Visit the IT Guest Portal, click Request Support and then Report Issue.
  2. On the form, Include the word WiFi in the subject, your location, time of the issue and the device(s) with which you’re unable to connect.
  3. Are you able to connect to eduroam and being told there is no internet connection, or are you unable to connect to eduroam at all?
  4. If it’s possible for you to include this, your device’s Wireless Physical (MAC) address is very useful information. While you may not be familiar with what this is, it’s easy to find out. Read the “ Find your Wireless MAC address” article on the Knowledge Base (search for Wireless MAC) for information about how to find this on Windows, Apple macOS, Android, iPhone, iPad and Linux.

Update 20 (10.20am, Monday 11 October)

Working closely with the manufacturer, the upgrade we applied on Friday late afternoon appears to have been successful after constant and enhanced monitoring over the weekend. Today, we will have numerous technical colleagues in campus buildings, testing Wi-Fi connectivity throughout to ensure we have full service, and meeting regularly to discuss findings.

We would however still ask anyone experiencing Wi-Fi issues to report them, using the information in Update 18.

Please note: there are Wi-Fi problems in the Main Library which are unrelated to the more widespread issues. These continue to be investigated separately.

Update 19 (3.05pm, Friday 8 October)

The potential problem with the Wi-Fi has been identified and some urgent work needs to take place today (8 October) between 4pm and 6pm to fix the issues.

During this time there will be two periods of up to 15 minutes where Wi-Fi will be completely unavailable.

It is critical that this work takes place as soon as possible.

We sincerely apologise for the short notice of this work and for the major disruption the poor Wi-Fi has caused to staff and students, in particular the significant impact this has had on teaching and learning. The IT teams are doing everything they can to resume the service as quickly as possible.

Update 18 (4.20pm, Thursday 7 October)

We’re aware that the Wi-Fi connectivity issues have been worse today in some places. As a result, we’re immediately re-implementing a workaround to improve performance.

Colleagues have been visiting buildings throughout the day to take part in testing, however as before, it’s important for everyone affected to report all issues so we can ensure every situation is investigated.

It will only take a couple of minutes to report this online; you don’t need to make a phone call or visit a walk-up support desk:

  1. Visit the IT Guest Portal, click Request Support and then Report Issue.
  2. On the form, Include the word WiFi in the subject, your location, time of the issue and the device(s) with which you’re unable to connect.
  3. If it’s possible for you to include this, your device’s Wireless Physical (MAC) address is very useful information. While you may not be familiar with what this is, it’s easy to find out. Read the “Find your Wireless MAC address” article on the Knowledge Base (search for Wireless MAC) for information about how to find this on Windows, Apple macOS, Android, iPhone, iPad and Linux.

Update 17 (10.50am, Thursday 7 October)

After yesterday’s work in MECD and The Library, our Network Operations Centre have applied similar changes in Alan Turing Building, Alliance Manchester Business School, Chemistry Building, Ellen Wilkinson Building, Humanities Bridgeford Street, Jean McFarlane Building, Kilburn Building, Roscoe Building, Samuel Alexander Building, Schuster Building, Simon Building, Stopford Building and University Place.

In addition to regular monitoring across the entire campus, colleagues will be reviewing the performance of Wi-Fi in the above buildings to review the outcomes of the work.

Also, there are additional Wi-Fi connectivity problems in The Library unrelated to the widespread issues. These are being investigated separately.

Update 16 (4.55pm, Wednesday 6 October)

Our colleagues continue to work on dealing with reports of Wi-Fi issues. 

Today, we’ve been paying particular attention to MECD Engineering Building A and the ground floor of the Main Library, due to the number of reports raised around those areas, although we are still responding to requests from all buildings. 

As part of troubleshooting, colleagues have identified one of the issues and made some configuration changes in the Library and MECD. Following a successful test we will make those configuration changes across other University buildings and will continue to monitor, especially during busy periods. 

We anticipate that during our extensive investigations we may discover further issues, particularly related to locations, so please continue to report any issues you are having.

Update 15 (4.30pm, Tuesday 5 October)

Thanks to all our staff and students who have been in touch, and to those with open support requests who have replied to our messages asking for additional information. Many of the issues have been resolved, but we still want to hear from those people who are still having connectivity problems, so we can work with you to ensure your connectivity is fully restored.

We sincerely apologise for the considerable disruption that this has caused, especially to staff and students involved in critical teaching and learning activities during this important time of year.

As earlier, we’ll continue to post updates on this topic until we believe that the connectivity issues are completely resolved.

Update 14 (4.25pm, Monday 4 October)

Service continues to improve, however we are still aware that some people are having Wi-Fi connectivity issues in some locations.

If you’re experiencing problems with connectivity and you’ve not yet reported it, it’s important that you do so, as every report submitted helps towards resolving the problem. Report via the IT Guest Portal, including the word WiFi in the subject, your location, time of the issue and the device(s) with which you’re unable to connect.

If you already have an open request with IT Services about this issue, please reply to the email you will have received from “Support Portal” to let us know if you are still having Wi-Fi problems. Let us know if the device and location are different to your original request.

We’ll publish our next update on Tuesday 5 October.

Update 13 (9.25am, Monday 4 October)

This weekend's work has completed. While the work took longer than expected, there was no noticeable downtime. We will continue to monitor closely throughout the day, however our IT Support Centre (or Hornet team for residents) need to know as soon as possible if you're still experiencing any issues with Wi-Fi. We will continue to post updates on this topic until we are completely happy that the connectivity issues are completely resolved.

  • If you’re on campus, report via the IT Guest Portal. Include the word WiFi in the subject, your location, time of the issue and the device(s) with which you’re unable to connect.
  • If you’re in halls of residence, report via the Hornet Portal.

Update 12 (2.25pm, Friday 1 October)

This Saturday's work has been given the go ahead, and the work is scheduled to take place between 8am and 2pm, with up to five minutes degradation of Wi-Fi service at some point during this time. This degradation may involve a momentarily weaker Wi-Fi signal or in some cases a temporary loss of connectivity.

If you notice any issues after the work has happened, please let us know:

  • If you’re on campus, report via the IT Guest Portal. Include the word WiFi in the subject, your location, time of the issue and the device(s) with which you’re unable to connect.
  • If you’re in halls of residence, report via the Hornet Portal.

Unless we have any additional news beforehand, we intend to post the next update here on Monday morning.

Update 11 (9.45am, Friday 1 October)

The pre-loading of the upgrade completed this morning, and we’re still on track for the work to go ahead this Saturday.

We will have teams of colleagues monitoring all services at all hours throughout the weekend to ensure they return as expected. Our Network Operations Centre have sight of every single Wi-Fi access point on campus and in halls, and will be able to respond in case any of the access points experience an issue after the upgrade.


Older updates:

September's information about this issue can be found at the following link: