THE internet has taken a great leap, inspiring people to tangle it with their lives: its portability. From the sickly connection conjured from bundles of telephone wires to a vast network of connections across the place is the wireless fidelity, more commonly known as “Wi-Fi.” A lot of people would admit inability to live life without it. In actuality, if all Thomasians had smart phones and laptops, perhaps they would have a personal Wi-Fi account. Just recently, the Santo Tomas e-Service Providers (STePs) played a role that might fulfill the vision.
STePs re-opened the Wi-Fi registration for the Thomasian community last June 11, this time, conveniently, through the MyUSTe Portal. Thomasians registered and acquired a username with a password of their choice for logging in UST’s secure Wi-Fi, usually referred to as its Service Set Identifier, Veritas. Upon logging in, the web is almost within their reach.
Normally, access to Wi-Fi in different locations is subject to the policies and goal of STePs. In UST, given its high regard for education and Catholicism, inaccessibility to some sites, such as malicious sites and social networking sites, is prohibited. Though, the rule is bent for some social networking sites depending on specific departments/colleges requirements.
For example, some offices in UST actually deemed Facebook necessary for their operations, hence the Wi-Fi connection in those places can access Facebook. However, as such sites only congest data transfer for those who academically need it, updating status is generally unavailable—a major setback for those who have the necessity to share their lives frequently.
The present 20 units of Wi-Fi equipment outdoors, each accommodating up to 50 users, made UST’s Wi-Fi accessible almost everywhere. Plus, there is a large number of additional units in different offices. Hotspots can be named: Plaza Mayor and Quadri Park. Although according to STePs director Engr. Sebastian Raymond Mendoza, these are usually flocked by students, reducing internet speed because of data congestion. This is a common complain laid on STePs’s front desk.
Answering these queries, many factors affect connection speed besides the number of users. Buildings, walls, trees, and other infrastructures make it hard for Wi-Fi circulation.
STePs is also usually bombarded with questions about accounts that do not work properly, usually resolved with the fault at the users’ computer literacy. Remember this: three wrong password inputs make your account unusable for ten minutes.
As Wi-Fi in the campus is just around since November 2008, STePs, in cooperation with the UST administration, is continuing to find improvements with the connection, speed, and regulation of access to sites. This will help utilize the internet in institutional and educational use.
For questions and connection problems, visit STePs’s helpdesk at the ground floor of the UST Main Building, or visit http://wifi.ust.edu.ph/ for more information.
By Gabriel P. Cabanayan
Graphics by Charielle Brucelas