Sac State offers ‘drive-in wi-fi’ amid coronavirus-induced online classes

Wi-Fi is accessible in Parking Structure V Monday through Friday


Ronaldo Gomez

The first through fifth floors of Parking Structure V provide electric vehicle charging spaces. Sac State IRT announced it will provide “Drive-in Wi-Fi” on its second through sixth floors on weekdays.

Kylie Robison

Sacramento State’s Information Resources & Technology Service Desk implemented “drive-in Wi-Fi” Friday in Parking Structure V for students with difficulty accessing the internet for online classes, according to a SacSend email Thursday from IRT. 

Internet access in Parking Structure V will be available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the exception of March 31 due to Cesar Chavez Day according to another email from IRT sent Sunday. 

To connect to the campus network, students should drive into Parking Structure V, follow the signs and cones to floors two through six, and park on the outer edges of the structure for the best reception.

The email sent Sunday also announced the AIRC will be closed over spring break, leaving students with one less place to access Wi-Fi. 

Ted Koubiar, executive director of network and telecommunications at Sac State, said he hopes the parking structure Wi-Fi helps students through the transition to online classes.

“Some students might not have Wi-Fi service at home, and all the coffee shops are closed,” Koubiar said. 

Initially, users were required to have a parking permit to use “drive-in Wi-Fi” according to the Thursday IRT email. However, some students have already returned their parking permits for a partial refund

Within five hours of the initial SacSend email, University Transportation & Parking Services sent an email saying parking permits are not required to utilize Wi-Fi in the structure.

Koubiar said due to the amount of crime in parking garages, Sac State Police will patrol the structure to check on users. 

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Users must remain in their vehicles with their ignitions off, and social distancing rules will apply to space between vehicles according to the Thursday email.

“You must practice the same social distancing with your vehicle as you do with people (6 feet apart or more),” the email said. IRT also said loud music, smoking, drinking, sleeping and staying overnight are prohibited. 

“We’re hoping that they follow the proper protocol so they don’t get out of their car and congregate together,” Koubiar said.

Additional reporting by Chris Wong.