ITS announces approval for project to install WiFi on the Diag


Information and Technology Services has received funding approval to install WiFi in portions of the Diag.

In September 2017, Central Student Government President Anushka Sarkar and CSG Vice President Nadine Jawad announced an initiative outlined as part of their platform to install WiFi on the Central Campus Diag.

At the request of students and with the support of President Mark Schlissel, Provost Martin Philbert and Chief Financial Officer Kevin Hegarty have approved the project to provide wireless access outdoors on the Diag to support student and campus activities.

Based on their input it has been determined that the areas of coverage will include the Hatcher Library plaza with the Block M, and the areas adjacent to the surrounding buildings: Angell Hall, the Kraus, Chemistry, Dow and Dana buildings, Randall Labs and Hatcher Library.

“The Diag has long been an important crossroads of the University of Michigan experience,” Schlissel said. “Generations of students, faculty, staff and visitors have traversed it, seeking knowledge and inspiration. It’s the pulsating heart of the university.

“I’m proud that we are able to add a new dimension to one of the most iconic spaces in all of higher education with our WiFi on the Diag Project. I also thank our students for their advocacy in this important milestone for our campus.”

Sarkar said the effort demonstrates the power of student advocacy.

“Students wanted to be able to spend time in the Diag studying and holding events for their student organizations, and they needed WiFi to do it, so this is a win for improved quality of life for students,” she said.

Andy Palms, executive director of ITS Infrastructure, said the project shows how students have continued to drive the expansion of campus WiFi.

“We have almost completed work on the Campus WiFi Upgrade Project that was funded three years ago to ensure that we could provide WiFi coverage from wall to wall, penthouse to basement, in buildings on the Ann Arbor campus,” Palms said.

“Providing WiFi coverage in outdoor spaces, heavily used by students, faculty and staff is the next obvious progression of this work. U-M continues to invest in this important infrastructure, allowing our population to work, study, and play, anywhere on the Ann Arbor campus.”

Leslie Williamson, ITS infrastructure installation manager and the lead on the project, said the campus should expect to see construction starting on the Diag over the summer, and work will be completed over the next four to 18 months as weather permits.

Williamson added that this project will require partnerships and close collaboration among several units on campus.

While ITS is charged with executing this upgrade, the project would not be successful without significant input from the Student Resource Center, the Campus Planner’s Office, Facilities & Operations, the External Elements Review Committee, IT Procurement, Unit IT and leadership in affected campus buildings.

Look for an announcement on what areas of the Diag have WiFi coverage when U-M starts the fall term.


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