Henderson dorms receive a new fiber optic internet upgrade


William Matthews

Phil Grace managing the data center at Henderson.

Henderson’s Information Technology department has recently surpassed a huge milestone. On October 19, the last fiber optic cable was connected to the dorms. From then on, all dorms on campus have seen the benefits of this new installation, but what does this mean to actual residences?

According to Phil Grace, director of IT infrastructure at Henderson, all dorms on campus are now getting ten times more internet traffic than before this installation. That means that more dorm residents should be able to use the internet reliably during times of heavy internet usage. That is the biggest and most important change because of this project. There might be some slight network speed increase but most users won’t notice any of these changes. This project was about increasing the stability of the dorm internet and WiFi, and not the download and upload speeds.

This was a project that took much longer to finish than originally intended. The IT department had gone through many personnel changes since this was started two years ago. At the time, director Grace wasn’t employed here yet, so this was something that he inherited with the job. Aside from himself, there were several others in the IT department that had come and gone that were supposed to help with this project, including different contractors being supplied by Areon, the internet supplier of Henderson and various other schools across the state.

The next phase will be replacing and installing more WiFi access points in dorms. This will help increase WiFi signal strength to dorm rooms with weak or no internet access. This will also take some time to address, but is something that will be accomplished much easier.

For any complaints or problems with the WiFi in your dorm or anywhere else across campus, please contact the IT department’s Help Desk. The email address is [email protected] and the phone number is (870)230-5678. All requests will be handled as quickly as possible, and requests will help them address weaker network areas faster.