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“If we were doing a good job we wouldn’t see anybody in the Tech Zone” – Tech Zone promises better c

Many students spent the first week of term queuing outside the Tech Zone to connect their devices to the campus WiFi. But the Head of Customer Services of Brunel University’s Information Services, Ms Sarah Gardner, admitted to an IKB Insider that the Tech Zone did not successfully communicate this.

“During what we call Week 0 which is when everyone arrives, they didn’t realise that they could connect their own devices away from here and we’re giving support for that. She added: “we need to be a bit better in communicating that”.

Some students also reported that their devices’ antivirus software temporarily prevented them from accessing the Brunel WiFi network.

Postgraduate student Rahab was told the “security” with her laptop’s software – Kaspersky – “could not scan”, causing a Brunel Connect Assistant check fail. Passing the check is crucial for internet access.

Her computer issues have also affected her studies. She said: “Now that I don’t have a laptop I need to be in the library, in the meantime I am just relying on the] library and phone”.

Three types of device protection – firewall, spyware and antivirus – are all checked for before the Brunel Connect Assistant lets people into the WiFi network. Norton Security users shared this issue.

According to Ms Gardner, the issue has since been rectified. “We’ve now changed our policy [to] take antivirus and spyware as the same thing … as long as you’ve got the antivirus on a Norton-protected device, you can now get onto the WiFi…”

Ms Gardner stresses the Tech Zone’s role as “predominantly to hand-hold through self-service issues… quickly connect students and sign-post them to self-help material.”

The Information Services department have begun improving their customer services by pushing colleagues to provide incoming January students with instructions on registering their devices with the university network from home before they arrive and encourage any feedback from current students.

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