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Internet difficulties at Loyalist

By Brock Butler [1]

BELLEVILLE – Loyalist College [2] is having internet issues this semester, leaving some students wondering what’s going on.

Sean Cornish, an animation and game development-interactive media development [3] student, says he has faced difficulties with the internet recently.

Sean Cornish, an animation and game development-interactive media development student, said that when the internet freezes up, errors can appear in his work. Photo By Brock Butler, QNet News

“There’s a lot of times while I’m working and everything just freezes up. I can’t work when it does that,” he said. “It’s been pretty common this semester and even more so last semester.”

The service is inconsistent, he said, and it hurts his ability to do schoolwork.

“It affects a lot of things, like the programs we use,” he said.

Maxwell Degraaff, another animation and game development-interactive media development student, said he too has struggled with the internet outages.

Maxwell Degraaff, an animation and game development-interactive media development student, said he has had struggles with assignments when the internet connection has problems. Photo By Brock Butler, QNet News

Most of his work is online, or needs to be submitted online, he said.

“It’s really hard to work on anything when we don’t have access to the internet,” Degraaff said.

But some students haven’t noticed much of a difference.

David Doody, a fitness and health promotion [4] student, said he doesn’t really use the internet other than for his phone and laptop. While it has cut in and out, he said, it’s only been a few times when he was on FaceTime with friends, and it only lasted a few seconds.

Mark Kirkpatrick, the senior director of infrastructure at Loyalist, said he’s aware of the internet issues that have cropped up this semester.

The information technology department “get(s) messages of concern about wifi and/or internet connectivity, and we do try to address them,” he said.

“We do have more wifi concerns voiced over the Reilly facility (a college residence) than we do over the other four buildings. That’s primarily due to the fact of a higher load. So it puts more capacity on the wifi network,” Kirkpatrick said.

Many students have multiple devices using the internet, which can cause a problem, he said.

“It can actually put a lot more strain on the (internet access points) that exist in the network.”

The college is trying to fix the problem, Kirkpatrick said.

“What we’ve been doing over the years is trying … to put hardwire connections into as many buildings as possible to give an alternative to some of the wifi that’s going on.”

Mark Kirkpatrick, the senior director of infrastructure at Loyalist College, said there are several possible reasons for recent internet problems. The college is upgrading its network, he said. Photo By Brock Butler, QNet News

There are other reasons for the problems this semester, he said. A few weeks ago the college was having trouble with its internet service provider, he explained.

“One of their upstream partners (had issues) and that was causing internet delay, so folks couldn’t get to certain websites very quickly.”

The college is looking to upgrade its wiring across the campus, he said. “We’re in the process of upgrading our backbone infrastructure from a gigabit to 10 gigabits.”

This work could also explain some of the problems, he said: “That may be part of what’s going on.”