Virginia State University launches 6E network

Virginia State University, an HBCU founded in 1882, is the latest college to offer next-generation Wi-Fi on campus.
A young Black woman sits in her university dorm room looking at her phone with her laptop open on her desk.
(Peter Cade / Getty Images)

Virginia State University, an HBCU founded in 1882, is the latest in a small but growing group of higher education institutions offering next-generation Wi-Fi on campus.

Virginia State’s Wi-Fi 6E network is now live in some residential buildings, the university said in a press release on Tuesday. More areas will go live in the coming weeks, with all student resident halls expected to have access to upgraded Wi-Fi by Sept. 30. 

In addition to the standard 2.4GHz and 5GHz radio bands used by Wi-Fi networks, newer 6E networks also use the 6GHz band, enabling more devices to connect to the network at the same time.

The University of Michigan became the first university to offer Wi-Fi 6E in June 2022, followed by Texas A&M University and other higher education institutions in the past year.


“Once complete, the first things students will notice is the ability and availability to connect to the Wi-Fi network,” Marine Ficklin, director of technology infrastructure and operations at Virginia State, said in a press release. “Right now, in every resident hall, some areas have no connectivity. When the new network goes online, students can connect to superior Wi-Fi inside and outside every building around campus for the first time in Virginia State University history.”

Virginia State also plans to boost campus cellular networks with 5G technology. The 5G upgrade will be funded by a $2.8 million grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

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