News - October 9, 2014

Idealis tackles poor internet connections

Text:
Gastredacteur

Idealis is going to improve the internet connections in its student housing. In the course of January, the problems experienced by students on the Marijkeweg, Haarweg and Bornsesteeg should be over.

These days, an Internet connection is seen as a basic necessity of life. That is why it is so annoying for the residents of the Idealis buildings on the Marijkeweg, Haarweg and Bornsesteeg that they have big problems getting access to the World Wide Web. Many residents have no internet at all any more, while some can occasionally get a connection. 

‘It is basically firefighting,’ sighs an employee from the university’s IT department. The Idealis buildings are connected to the Wageningen UR network so they are the ones who receive the complaints. ‘The problem is that new occupants in the buildings link up routers to the network,’ explains the IT employee. ‘Unfortunately many students don’t do this correctly, so that the router gives the wrong IP address. As a result, that student has internet but he or she disrupts the network for other residents. It costs us a lot of time to find the culprit. Once we’ve tracked them down, the next one has appeared.’

Hardware 

The underlying cause of the problem lies in the hardware. Switches play an important role in the infrastructure. The switches in these Idealis buildings are dated. Modern switches would be able to recognize wrongly connected routers. Starting mid-November, the ICT department at the university will be replacing the switches, and the problems should be solved by the end of January. 

Idealis has known about the internet connectivity problems for some time. And new switches were delivered to Wageningen UR at the end of 2013. Why it has taken until now for the new switches to be installed is not clear to Idealis spokesperson Corina van Dijk. ‘We knew something had to be done. It was not for nothing that the switches were delivered in 2013.’

According to Wojtek Sablik, head of the ICT Infrastructure department, exchanging the switches is the last part of a long-term updating process. It was not just the switches but also the cables that needed replacing.
‘We are two or three months behind schedule, but that is not too strange for such a complex process. Those three months
are like a few seconds in our world.’

Carina Nieuwenweg/Linda van der Nat