Students living in dorms can’t call for Alexa. That’s because the Amazon Echo Dot can’t connect to residential WiFi.
The Amazon Echo Dot is currently being evaluated to make sure there are no security or connectivity issues, Matt Pendleton, senior director of information technology for student affairs, wrote in an email. The residential network allows students living on campus to access the internet, except for those in sororities and fraternities.
After the product has been evaluated, UF IT for Student Affairs will begin to help students connect their devices, Pendleton wrote.
All approved entertainment devices must first be registered in order to connect to the residential network. Students can register if they are primary residents on the housing contract and submit the correct make and model as well as the MAC address of the device.
Devices such as the Amazon TV Firestick, Roku and Apple TV are all allowed on the residential network while the Amazon Echo Dot is still being approved. Other unsupported devices include Google Home devices, Apple Homepods, wireless printers and smart light bulbs, plugs and scales. Pendleton wrote that Echo is being evaluated as an “Active Listening Device.”
“We’ve had a number of Amazon Echo Dot requests,” Pendleton wrote. “Those requests were initially denied to further evaluate the product.”
The Alligator has emailed Pendleton four times and called three times in two days with additional questions and was given no date or estimate as to when Echo would be approved for the residential network. The Alligator also contacted Tracy Gale, UF IT’s spokesperson, via email three times and called once in the span of two days but still received no responses to the questions.
The Alligator also asked what is being done about Echo not being accepted into the network after Pendelton initally said that “a number of Amazon Echo Dot requests” were filed.
Ursula Duran, a 19-year-old accounting freshman, received the Amazon Echo Dot as a gift from her father before moving into Beaty Towers West. She has been unable to use it since receiving it in August.
“It’s a little frustrating because you purchase something wanting to use it and then you can’t,” Duran said.
Contact Allessandra Inzinna at [email protected].