About the WiFi Upgrade Project

Students, faculty, staff, and administrators agree that current WiFi networks are inconsistent and insufficient to meet the demands of an increasingly mobile and collaborative learning environment.

In answer to this concern, the University of Michigan Provost has approved three capital investment projects. These projects are to provide one-time funding for WiFi network upgrades. This effort will establish pervasive connectivity in libraries, public-facing university buildings, residence halls and academic spaces critical to our student services and academic missions.

Campus WiFi Upgrade Projects are significant initiatives designed to bring the network to a consistent standard of coverage, capacity, and capability. Achieving these standards will permit our students, faculty, and staff to teach, learn, and work anytime and anywhere in these facilities. Upgrades will also deliver a consistently positive WiFi experience for our prospective students, parents, alumni, and guests.

Not included in these projects are funding to improve networks in the University of Michigan Health System, UM-Dearborn, and UM-Flint campuses.

Project Phases

WiFi on the Diag Project — FY18-FY19

At the request of student government, and with the support of President Schlissel, the U-M Provost and Chief Financial Officer have approved a project to provide wireless access outdoors on the Diag to support student and campus activities. The project will begin Summer FY18 and is scheduled to be completed by October 2019.

Campuswide WiFi Upgrade Project — FY16-FY18

The University of Michigan IT Executive Council has been asked to consider an additional $24.4 million WiFi Network upgrade project including 275 academic, research, administrative and residence hall buildings on the Ann Arbor campus. This effort continues progress to provide consistent coverage in facilities where the majority of teaching, learning, research, and work occurs across campus.

The 275 buildings that have been recommended by ITS for upgrades to their WiFi netowrks are listed in priority order. The actual order that buildings are upgraded, however, has to do with many factors such as when the building is available for construction activity and when the building may be undergoing renovations. Each building is subject to final CIO and Provost office approval when a more detailed building evaluation and construction cost estimate is completed.

Public Facing Buildings Project — FY14

  • Palmer Commons
  • President’s House
  • Pierpont Commons
  • Rackham
  • Michigan League
  • Ruthven Museum and Library
  • Matthaei Botanical Garden
  • Michigan Union
  • Student Activities Building
  • Alumni Center
  • Power Center
  • Health Services Building
  • Hill Auditorium
  • Towsley Children's House
  • Central Campus Recreation Building (CCRB)
  • North Campus Recreation Building (NCRB)
  • Bentley Library
  • Department of Public Safety

Libraries Project — FY13

  • Shapiro Library
  • Hatcher Library
  • Buhr Building (Library Space)

Technical Standard

The technical standard for the WiFi design on this project are:

  • WiFi protocol
    • 802.11ac Wave 1
  • General WiFi design criteria
    • 5GHz in a majority of the building
    • 2.4GHz throughout the building
    • High density deployments in large classrooms and auditoriums
    • Minimum signal strength -65 dBm
    • Enough bandwidth to deliver 1 HD video stream per person
  • WiFi Security
    • MWireless - WPA2 Enterprise
    • eduroam - WPA2 Enterprise
    • MGuest - none