Q: I have no idea what to do about getting wireless devices to work on the Internet for my school. What is recommended?
A: Step one is to determine if you have wireless access at your school. In your mobile device network settings, look for the "SFUSD" or "SFUSD-GUEST" SSID being broadcast (sometimes shown as "available networks"). If you don’t see those as available wireless networks for your device to join, submit a service request ticket to request a wireless assessment of your school.
Q: How do I get the password to get on the SFUSD wireless?
A: For the SFUSD SSID, your SFUSD username and password (aka AD account) are all that are required. Simply use the same username you use to access email (without the @sfusd.edu part) and you can connect your device. This is true for personally owned devices as well. If you do not have an AD account, please contact the DoT Help Desk at 415-241-6476.
Q: Is it true that wireless (wifi) is always better because everyone can be mobile?
A: Wireless is very convenient, however it is not always the most reliable option. Bandwidth on a wireless network is shared, so the more devices competing for that bandwidth, the less everyone gets. If you truly need to guarantee reliability and speed, physically connecting to the network via an Ethernet cable is always your best bet.
Q: I can’t get on the Internet. How do I know my wireless access point is working?
A: Blinking or flickering lights. If you see that one is not blinking or is flashing red lights rather than green, please submit a service request. If you do see green lights and still can’t access the Internet, more than likely the problem is related to your device.
Q: In my classroom, I can use the wireless network just fine but in the classroom next door, they can’t. Why might that be?
A: Wireless operates on RF or radio frequency waves. Just like a car radio, they are subject to interference and “dead spots” brought on by construction, microwave ovens, competing wireless signals, cordless phones, leaded glass, etc. It is possible the access point’s signal is strong enough to reach your room or bounce into your room on a favorable angle but cannot reach or penetrate the room next door. You will likely need more access points to reach that room, or perhaps, need an existing access point troubleshot. Please submit a service request request for assistance with your wireless.
Q: Can I bring in my access point from home?
A: No. We love your enthusiasm for wireless but it’s very important we all broadcast the same signal. Wireless SSIDs can compete for the same airspace making for a worse experience for everyone. If everyone brought in their own access points it would be virtually impossible for our support staff to assist in troubleshooting connectivity and computer problems.
By: DAVE BURNS, SFUSD DoT Network Operations