UW Information Technology

March 16, 2020

Latest generation of Wi-Fi brings big improvements, but may cause connectivity issues for some users

UW-IT is in the midst of upgrading the University’s Wi-Fi network by installing hundreds of the latest generation of Wi-Fi units in key areas of the Seattle campus to keep up with the ever-evolving needs of the UW community.

The new Wi-Fi units — known as Wi-Fi 6 access points — are expected to bring improvements in efficiency, speed and capacity for many devices, and to the wireless network as a whole. During the 2020 calendar year, the units will be installed in Suzzallo Library, the Husky Union Building, the Population Health building and Oak Hall, among others.

However, the new units may affect certain Windows-based laptops with older Intel wireless drivers, making them unable to connect to the UW’s Wi-Fi networks.

Intel has developed a solution for Windows 10, 8.1 and 7, and recommends using its latest driver version to fix the issue. Download the latest Wi-Fi driver now or visit the Intel support webpage to confirm whether your devices are compatible with Wi-Fi 6.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact UW-IT’s Service Center at help@uw.edu with the subject line: Wi-Fi 6 connectivity issues.

Eventually, all of the UW’s nearly 14,000 Wi-Fi units will be replaced as part of routine technology refresh cycles.