Plan to improve campus cell phone reception this summer

IVCC decided in the fall of 2014 to solve the long-term problem of bad cell phone reception on the main campus by distributing connection-strengthening devices throughout the college.

The new cell phone system is called a Distributed Antenna System (DAS). IVCC will install the DAS on the top of the C building; a heat mapping of the college showed that the main antennas of the DAS would have the best coverage there.

It will work by “installing a network of relatively small antennas throughout the building to serve as repeaters” says Harold Barnes, director of information technology services. The C Building should have the best reception, but with the distributors placed throughout the college a strong connection will be accessible in all of the buildings. This plan will cover the main campus as well as the gym, J Building, and CTC.

Although the plan was approved last fall, the purchase of a better reception program was approved at the March 2015 board meeting. If everything goes as planned, the new cell phone reception system will be installed and ready to go by the end of June 2015.

The new gadgets that will be installed will affect anyone who uses a cell phone on the main campus. They are going to be set up for student, faculty, and teacher convenience, to insure quickly sent and received calls and texts. These new devices are also for safety reasons. In case of an emergency, it is important to be able to contact someone for assistance.

The cell phone reception problem has been something that IVCC has dealt with for a while. A good cell phone signal is hard to come by in the building because of the material that the building is made out of such as metal siding, concrete, and wire mesh, according to Barnes.

Another cell reception barrier that makes it difficult for a good connection to penetrate the building is the usage of “energy efficient products such as radiant barriers and low-e windows,” said Barnes. With this new expenditure we should see a stronger cell phone reception at IVCC for many years to come.

Along with the improvement of cell phone coverage around the campus, IVCC is discussing the possibility of updating their Wi-Fi. The voting for this new plan will take place at a board meeting during summer 2015. Due to a two-step approval process, if the Wi-Fi coverage is voted in favor of, IVCC will likely not see the effects of this plan until early 2016.