On Monday, UCSD announced the launch of a new wifi network that will be available to students that purchase a monthly subscription plan. Preorders for the wifi network entitled “UCSD-ELITE” have already sold out, with the lucky 2,000 students guaranteed working wifi for only $49.99 a month.
“The idea for ‘UCSD-ELITE’ came about because so many students were complaining about their wifi not working,” said information systems technician Wilber Finkler. “We knew we needed a new wifi network to support the student’s needs, but could not afford to do so without tapping into our bosses’ six figure holiday bonus. That’s why we decided to move forward with a wifi network that charged students.”
“I am so excited for ‘UCSD-ELITE’ to be here, I cannot wait!” said junior Winston Fiala. “Sure it costs money, but you are paying for a quality network. I need a good wifi network for my online classes, as regular wifi disconnecting me from Zoom made me fail a presentation.”
Disconnecting from online classes is a serious problem across campus. According to one study conducted by the IT department, 97% of students on campus reported disconnecting from one online class with 62% of students disconnecting on a weekly basis. However, not all students are as excited about “UCSD-ELITE” as Fiala is.
“The fact that UCSD is charging students more money just to receive a wifi network is outrageous,” said freshman Willow Fischer. “What will happen to the free to use wifi networks now that UCSD is charging for some?”
Concerns from those like Fischer are common, as students worry that UCSD will stop caring for those using the free networks across campus. With much of the department focused on “UCSD-ELITE,” wait times for IT tickets at UCSD have already tripled.
“‘UCSD-ELITE’ will not stop us from doing our jobs,” said Finkler. “After the network is set up, strain on the other networks around campus will drop off and they will work better for those who do not want to spend money on a wifi network. If these ungrateful students won’t purchase these plans, then everyone will still have a bad connection.”
If the network is successful, UCSD plans to begin work on networks “UCSD-WEALTHY” and “UCSD-EXCLUSIVE” for students who require stronger wifi networks. Presales for “UCSD-WEALTHY” and “UCSD-EXCLUSIVE” will open on Cyber Monday, with special deals to honor the holiday. “UCSD-EXCLUSIVE” will start at $79.99, a month with a 2.5 mbps download speed and “UCSD-WEALTHY” at $99.99 a month for a 4 mbps download with a .5 upload speed.
“With these three networks, students will no longer have to worry about wifi issues during their classes or exams,” said Chancellor Pradeep Kholsa. “I am pleased to announce that UCSD is pioneering a path for all colleges to one day sell wifi to their students. One day, if this garners enough support, we may even place working ethernet cables inside the dorms.”