THE PROBLEM AND ITS SETTING
Wireless networks – and in particular, Wi-Fi – has become a buzzword for the 21st century. They have proliferated across the globe and they are being used today for a much wider range of applications. In point of fact, the number of Wi-Fi hotspots is growing at an extremely rapid rate and has expanded from its initial commercial focus to personal use and beyond (Walsh-Flaherty, 2007). Wi-Fi or WiFi, is a mechanism that allows electronic devices to exchange data wirelessly over a computer network using the IEEE 802.11 family of standards. A device enabled with Wi-Fi, such as a personal computer, video game console, smartphone, tablet, or digital audio player, can connect to a network resource such as the Internet via a wireless network access point. An access point (or hotspot) has a range of about 20 meters (65 ft) indoors and a greater range outdoors. Hotspot coverage can comprise an area as small as a single room with walls that block radio signals or a large area, as much as many square miles, covered by multiple overlapping access points (http://en.wikipedia.org,2007). In wireless networking, there are two important aspects to consider which are the throughput and delay. These two aspects, most commonly termed as the speed of the network, are usually affected by the following factors:
Number Of Users
Number of Access Points
In the global context, colleges and universities have been perhaps the earliest and most aggressive adopters of Wi-Fi technology over the past five years. Wi-Fi offers a simple way to provide network connections in hundreds of campus locations that could not be reached cost-effectively with wired Ethernet: classrooms, libraries, administrative offices, and even outdoor areas and athletic facilities. With the increase in technology use by students, higher education institutions are investing money into new technologies for college students in order to meet the needs and expectations of this technology oriented generation. Growing popularity of social networking, video sharing, and music streaming, true broadband Wi-Fi access is becoming a necessity to support the new generation of Wi-Fi enabled devices and applications. In the Philippines, (insert research here)
One among the many universities that had taken several initiatives to enhance teaching learning process is the Notre Dame of Marbel University; most prominently, the introduced Wi-Fi services within the campus. The said service allowed students, faculty members and visitors alike to access wireless broadband Internet within the campus. Under this project, the university has provided Wi-Fi services to classrooms, student lounge areas and campuses like the College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Business and Administration and the College of Education. With the introduced Wi-Fi service within the campus, students and faculty members are able to wirelessly connect to the Internet. In an immediate period of time, once can obtain access to academic information, university schedules and events, e-books, research papers, etc. However, the Wi-Fi service can also be used to access and check on Facebook or Twitter and send or receive instant messages to a friend during class and watch or download non-academic related videos. Furthermore, even with academic purpose in mind, users sometimes experience slow Internet traffic or worse, they are unable to gain access to Internet at all. As a result, users are forced to login at internet cafes; wasting money and time being unable to have an immediate access to the needed academic information. Additionally, the objective of Wi-Fi service to improve academic performance is not obtained. In this light, the researchers feel the need to conduct this study for the following reasons: to determine the speed of Wi-Fi access points at the College of Engineering...