It’s 1:51 p.m. and Castleton State College sophomore Joseph Marcum is trying to download the newest movie trailer for the upcoming feature film ‘300.’”Oh come on,” he sighs with disbelief. “Dude, what the f—?”
Marcum is grunting not because the trailer for ‘300’ was bad, but because of the lagging speed of the Internet connection that students are dealing with this school this year.
Many students on campus, including Marcum, have been complaining to each other about the slow Internet speed and the number of times they seem to be getting kicked off.
But have the students been bringing their complaints to the right people?
Castleton Information Technology official Jonathan Czar doesn’t think so.
“I haven’t noticed any complaints about the Internet not working. To my knowledge, the closest thing was last Friday when a switch in Wheeler Hall went out for five to 10 minutes.”
With a larger than normal freshman class, Czar was asked if this might be a reason to why the Internet would run slowly? He was also asked if a new server for Castleton would disperse the problem of the lagging Internet.
He began to shake his head side to side stating “we don’t have a real server actually.”
“What we have are ‘switches’ that get bandwidth sent to them and then out to the corresponding areas,” he said.
Czar showed what the switches looked like in a locked closet room. He then showed and explained what the Castleton map looks like for Internet access on his master computer.
He said that the peak usage times are from noon to 6 p.m. Then it drops during dinner time and then rises again from 8 p.m. to midnight.
These times also reflect when students have mostly been complaining about slow Internet access.
Czar suggested that more bandwidth could increase speed problems students complain of. Asked how much it would cost, Czar said he was unsure.
Gayle Malinowski, the school’s chief technology officer, said she too is unsure of the bandwidth cost, but said a simple call to the VSC would clear that all up.
She also stated, however, that the “higher ups,” meaning college administrators, would have to agree to an upgrade.
Malinowski also said that Castleton might be following Lyndon State College’s footsteps in giving students an option for their Internet.
Lyndon State allows students to have the school’s Internet or contact the local phone company and purchase a cable modem and pay for it themselves. Czar and Malinowski both said that before the cable modem would be allowed, the school must first have a system to be able shut down access to the school’s network due to the risk factor.
Students with the cable modem would be able to bypass the firewall and potentially send a virus though the network.
Marcum said he feels that the school needs to “kick it up” and get more bandwidth. He even proposed his own solution.
“I think the school needs to buy more bandwidth if they can’t cut the gamers stuff. Research should be number one on the list for this school and not online gaming,” he said. “Gamers get too much bandwidth for themselves and play games sometimes 23 hours a day. This is a college campus and not a ‘E-Gameage.'”
Czar said he wants the college campus to know that “for the Internet to run smoothly, there needs to be thousands of things clicking all at once and it only takes one thing, such as a wireless router, to make it all stop working.”
He also said that he can’t fix problems if he doesn’t know about them.
“Just give us a call,” he said. “That’s the best thing you can do.”
IT Services’ helpdesk extension is 1221.