Coporate Technology Woes:

Katherine DeVries

For the past two weeks the weather hasn’t been the only thing slowing Colgate students down. As most have experienced, the university’s internet connection is operating at far from light speed.

While many aimed their complaints at the university’s technological resources, the problem actually has a basis in changes made by Colgate’s off-campus service provider, Time Warner Cable. The good news is the problem may be fixed as early as this weekend.

Colgate has long relied on Time Warner as its internet service provider. While the service is usually close to flawless, Time Warner recently updated their systems in a way that had unexpected ripple effects for nearly all of their global customers.

Two weeks ago, Time Warner switched to an updated version of their old router system. The router’s function is to connect the millions of sites on the web and facilitate the transmission of data between them. When the upgrade took place, all of the Internet connections that relied on Time Warner were temporarily broken.

Due to the sheer number of sites on the web, the reconnection process has been slow. Each URL — website — needs to be reconnected individually, so over the past few weeks, individual sites have been regaining their normal connection speed one by one.

Time Warner contacted the university before the routing change, claiming that the process would essentially go unnoticed. While this original prediction did not hold true, they have been cooperating with the school in attempts to ease the transition as much as possible.

Locally, Colgate and the city of Utica have been the hardest hit by this inconvenience, although the problem has affected areas across the country, as well as some foreign locations.

The Colgate Internet and Technological Services (ITS) are doing their best to help with the situation. Most of the complaints they have received have come from faculty members who are unable to download large amounts of information needed for class lectures. When situations like this have arisen, ITS has contacted Time Warner and they have been cooperative.

“All we can do is deal with specific issues on a one-by-one basis,” Chief Information Technology David Gregory said.

While ITS and the student technology helpline, SOURCe, have been receiving a few student complaints, they say that, overall, the campus has been very understanding about the problem.

The Colgate network itself has 85 megabits of space and is controlled internally; thus, Colgate in itself has no connection with the problem, and connecting to sources on campus is just as fast as usual.

Gregory said that most people are spoiled by how smooth-running the internet usually is.

“A lot more goes into it, and it is a lot more complex than most people realize,” Gregory said.