New server improves campus Internet

“Guilford College without its Internet connection is like Donald Trump without his toupee,” said Early College senior Laura Williams. “It just won’t work.”

Guilford has a turbulent Wi-Fi connection history. The loss of connection on Sept. 8 was a prime example. The crash preceded a switch of Internet Service Providers on Sept. 11 and was caused by a configuration change on the new provider.

The Information Technology & Services Department arranged a switch in ISPs to accommodate all Guilford students and their wireless needs.

“We switched from Time Warner Cable to Level 3 ISP,” said Information Technology and Systems Specialist Kyle Little. “Basically it upped the bandwidth of the school. The equipment, for the most part, is the same. It’s really just switching service providers. It’s faster, which will let more students stream at faster speeds without the Internet slowing down.”

According to Senior Systems Administrator and Interim Director of IT&S Mark Harris, the switch in providers was an effort to receive about 50 percent more dedicated bandwidth and a cost-effective Internet.

The improvements are a welcome change, as students rely on the school’s Wi-Fi connection for a wide range of extracurriculars and class assignments. Email, Moodle and online resources are essential to the daily life of Guilford students.

Many students have noticed the change in Guilford’s Internet.

“It’s way better now,” said first-year Michaela McLauren. “I guess they got it fixed. Before, there were a lot of problems with getting on the Wi-Fi, but now I can actually get on my email and do my work.”

However, not everyone embraced the change. In fact, the new provider may be causing issues for certain systems and areas on campus.

“I need the Internet for a lot of my classes, like for Moodle,” said Williams. “But lately, it has been working a lot slower. Most of the people in the (Early College) trailers can’t connect.”

Some are having problems accessing Internet through entertainment systems, as well.

“The Internet hasn’t been working very well for me, probably for the last week and a half,” said junior Dominique Henderson. “To be honest, when I first got here, my Playstation network was perfectly fine, and it connected to the Internet. Then, it just stopped connecting after the whole updating thing.”

Guilford students should be prepared for another planned outage in mid-October.

According to Harris, the second step to the process following a provider switch is performing a few updates. The system maintenance will most likely occur over fall break, so save yourself a seat at Starbucks if you plan to stay on campus.

In a country where, according to the Pew Research Center, 99 percent of undergrad students are Internet users and 88 percent own a laptop, Internet is a top priority at universities and colleges. Guilford’s steps to increase bandwidth and support its large network of students have gotten students excited for the new semester. After all, where would we be without Wi-Fi?