Network: Residents' Responsibilities

Some residence hall rooms have Wi-Fi components in them that provides that community area with Wi-Fi signals for eduroam and UWRF-Registered networks. These networks are relied upon by residents for their academic and non-academic use of the Internet. Most Wi-Fi related network equipment has the Cisco logo imprinted on it.

If you were directed to this knowledge article by the Division of Technology Services, we believe that you live in a room that has a wireless access point and that the access point is currently offline. We hope this guide helps you restore Wi-Fi coverage by enabling this network device as soon as possible. 

The network equipment in your room is essential to all of your neighbors. Please attempt to quickly restore it to operational order based on this guide. If you are not able to resolve this in a timely manner, we may need to access your room to take corrective action for you.

Our Process to Quickly Resolve the Issue

  • When we see an access point is down for an extended period of time
    • We come out that day and knock on your door to see if you are around and fix the problem. 
    • If you are not home, Technology Services hangs a letter on your door giving you instructions and alerting you to the issue.
  • If the wireless access point is still down after 24 hours of our initial visit
    • We email the occupants of the room, explaining the issue again
    • We also inform the occupants that if we do not hear back within another 24 hours, we will be visiting the room to address the issue. 
  • If there is no response within 24 hours of the email notification
    • We visit the room again and knock on your door to see if you are around and fix the problem.
    • If there is no answer, Technology Services  keys into your room to resolve the issue.

Step 1 - Identifying Wi-Fi Equipment in Your Room

You might be asking yourself if you have an access point in your room.

  • If you see something similar to the device pictured in figure 1, you have a Wi-Fi access point in your room. 
  • If you see the word Cisco on something, it is probably a campus wireless access point.
  • In some halls these are installed above the mirrors, while others are in the middle of the wall.
  • Some are mounted on brackets like that pictured in figure 1; others may be mounted on the ceiling or elsewhere.

Figure 1

Step 2 - Verifying the Wired Network Connection

Every wireless access point needs to connect to the university network through a wired connection located in the room. You should be able to trace a wire or metal conduit to a box similar to that pictured in figure 2. You might be able to follow the conduit from the access point to the wall but you may never see the cable and it might disappear into a silver face plate like in figure 3.

Figure 2 (You can see the network jacks.)

Figure 3 (The network jacks are hidden behind steel plate that contains the TV connection.)

Step 3 - Fixing the Problem 

After a successful start up, the Cisco Wi-Fi device's light turns off. This does not mean that it is not working. In residence spaces, we have disabled the lights for your convenience. Please leave the cable plugged in once the light turns on.


You just have to reconnect the network cable back to the active network jack by plugging the cable back in to the proper outlet hole. 

  • Identify the network connection point, identified sometimes with a plastic computer icon. The jack may also be labeled something like D319A/B as in figure 4. 
  • Basically plug the cable in to one of the network jacks. If the light on the Cisco Wi-Fi device turns white, you did it correctly.
  • If the light does not turn on within 15 seconds of you plugging the cable into the network port, try the other ports until you find the port that makes the white light come on briefly.
  • Once the white light comes on, you are done. The access point cycles through some other colors and when it has fully booted, the light turns off.

Figure 4 (The network jack is in the upper left hand corner.)

Is the Light Supposed to be On or Off ?

The lights on these access points are very bright and because of that, we normally disable the light so that it doesn't bother students at night. Since the light is supposed to be always off, it's hard for students to know when the access point isn't working.

There are times where the light is on:

  • When the access point is reconnected to the network (after not being connected) and it is checking with the central system for updates. (It turns off after it is done.)
  • When the access point cannot talk to our equipment, the LED light blinks. (If it is constantly blinking for periods longer than 10 minutes, please notify DoTS immediately.)


Note if your light is on, please let DoTS know. Send an email to DoTS saying what building and room you live in and that the light on your wireless access point is on.

Potential Issues:  Furniture

Unfortunately, the most frequent reasons for Wi-Fi coverage and device failures are because the student's bed, dresser, fridge or other item is hitting the network cable and causing it to fail.

Lofted beds seem to be the biggest issue depending on what height you want your bed lofted or just bad luck with where the network jack is installed. Most network jacks are positioned for former room designs and are not ideally placed in the room the way they are currently configured.

Some requirements we ask that you follow to ensure good Wi-Fi coverage for your entire community:

  • Do not unplug the Cisco Wi-Fi device unless you were instructed by Technology Services to do so.
  • If the cable does come unplugged, plug it back in following the steps above. If the light does not come on again, try a different port. If it still does not come on, please immediately contact DoTS for assistance.  
  • Ensure nothing is pressing against the cables, conduits or devices. There should be several inches of space left around any cable or supporting structure.
  • Be careful when moving furniture so that you do not knock the device off the wall or damage the brittle network access ports.


Figure 5 (Here is an example of a bed that is lofted at a height that may cause problems. This bed should be lofted either higher or lower.)


Article ID: 62131
Tue 9/11/18 1:32 PM
Fri 8/14/20 12:03 PM