[Campus Inside] All You Wanted to Know about IllinoisNet

Have you ever wondered who was behind IllinoisNet or how people got tracked down from torrenting? This article will answer questions that you have always had about IllinoisNet.

I recently had the chance to interview the chief communication officer of technological services at the University. Before I went, I asked a couple of my friends about what questions they may have for the officer. Asking him to describe IllinoisNet in three words, he responded with “secure, large and complex.” The answers were too long to write them all out, so I will be briefly summarizing the interview in the next few paragraphs.

As he works with the technology team, many people would have assumed that he graduated with a degree in the engineering area or at least with science. However, he graduated with communications as an undergraduate and went to law school. After graduating from the University, he was looking for a job in Illinois and was able to find one at the technology department. He has been working here since then for 11 years and is the spokesperson for the department; meaning he overlooks what people say and gives marketing strategies to the University.

Adding on, from the question about what he remembers from social media, he said that the tweet, “If IllinoisNet was a person, I would shoot and kill him” is one that he still remembers to this day and just last week, there was a person who said, “IllinoisNet is trash.” The team already has about 3 million square feet of Wi-Fi coverage and they are planning to add another 3 million square feet by Fall 2017. So if you’re graduating before then, let’s try to get used to it. And if you’re still attending school then, you’re lucky!

Asking of the budget, the officer was really relaxed and he didn’t avoid the question. I was really surprised at the number. Apparently, the technology department has a budget of a few million dollars just for the new implantation they’ll be doing in the coming years. Furthermore, he said that they got rid of UIUCnet and embedded illinoisNetStart because it was inconvenient with two different systems and that they hope the problem people have with illinoisNetStart will be resolved with the new system.

Finally, the torrenting was the most interesting question I asked and got back. First to let you guys know: the school doesn’t track you down for torrenting until the media company holding the license contacts the school. Still, this does not mean that the school is not overlooking students’ activities. They do track students down and give them warnings when companies such as HBO contact the university.

To conclude, I really hope you got what you always questioned yourself and just one note of advice: be careful on what you say and do on the internet!


Sarah Park / Intern Reporter