Student - 7 juli 2010

Internet back to normal, in the weekends as well

The disruptions to Internet in the Idealis buildings in Wageningen seem to be a thing of the past thanks to a new server. It is not clear whether this measure will be sufficient. It is not known what exactly caused the problem.

Various Wageningen student buildings have frequently been without Internet in the past month. Computers that tried to access the HomeWURk university network were not allocated an IP address. 'We spent two weekends and a couple of weekdays without Internet', says Peter van Beveren, a resident of the Haarweg buildings. 'It was annoying because you then discover how dependent you are on this technology. You notice it in little things. For example, we keep a digital record of who eats with the group and who doesn't, and that became really difficult to do then.' What is more, international students were not able to contact their families.
Those problems seem to be a thing of the past. 'I get the impression they really have solved it now. I haven't heard anything about the problem for a week now', says Luc Steinbuch of the Flat Committee Foundation. Student Council member Kees van der Ark (VeSte) also says the problems have been sorted out. 'Wageningen UR has installed a new DHCP server', explains Marco Otte of Facilities and Services. 'This machine allocates IP addresses more quickly and is less liable to faults.' It is still guesswork as to what caused the disruptions. 'There are several possible causes of this problem, including a wireless network that has not been properly installed by the residents, but there are lots of other possibilities too.'
The heart of the problem lies in the fact that no clear agreements have been made about network maintenance. The infrastructure within the buildings is owned by the accommodation provider Idealis but the hands-on maintenance is provided by Wageningen UR. 'There is incongruity there', says Marco Otte. Jan Harkema of Idealis feels the situation is very unfortunate. 'This is emphatically not our responsibility but we have exerted maximum pressure because we think it is important to have fast Internet. On the one hand we want the problems solved as soon as possible and on the other hand we want users to be told clearly what is being done and who is responsible.' Marco Otte thinks the Executive Board should renegotiate the contracts. 'The agreements between the Executive Board and the predecessors of Idealis were made at the end of the last century and they are no longer appropriate for Internet in 2010. For example, our current organisation is not set up to provide support during the weekends. It is up to the Board to consider whether this should change.' All in all, Kees van der Ark is reasonably satisfied with the outcome. Luc Steinbuch, too, is able to put things into perspective: 'The good thing is that you get some extra free time when you don't have Internet.'