Crappy WiFi at the University of Alabama

From the “In Order to Serve You Better, We Are Now Going to Fuck You Over” file:

The University of Alabama’s Office of Information Technology recently informed me that

The Office of Information Technology is pleased to announce a new secure wireless network for faculty and staff. In order to connect to UA-WPA2, employees will need to install XpressConnect on their devices by visiting As part of the installation process, users will be required to enter their myBama ID and password. UA-WPA2 provides secure wireless communications through the use of WPA2 Enterprise and will replace the pre-shared key SSID rolled out as an interim solution last year. Starting in October 2012, UA-WPA2 will replace UA Public Wireless for all faculty and staff. For instructions on installing UA-WPA2′s XpressConnect client, visit

When I first read this, I thought, So, instead of letting us connect to wifi as we normally do–a process that takes, like, two minutes–we are now going to be required to install a separate app and jump through several hoops.

This is going to be a mess.

And now that mess is here. I tried to install XpressConnect and access the new wifi this afternoon–using the instructions posted online. No luck.

Sent a note to the help desk and a very pleasant woman called me immediately to assist me. After 45 minutes on the phone with her, we still hadn’t solved the problem. And she wanted me to walk across campus to the Help Desk to troubleshoot it there. I said no thank you. This (futile) process has already wasted enough of my day.

So much for an improved wifi system. I wonder if OIT will feel so “pleased” about it in January when all faculty and staff are required to convert to the new system and they run into issues like I did.


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