Maryville College is Making Improvements to its Internet Capabilities

On Jan. 25 at approximately 10:15 a.m. Maryville College’s wireless network stopped working for roughly 15 minutes. 

“I had class during that time” said MC Senior Elea Forester. “For a moment it seemed like a new version of a snow day.” 

While campus Wi-Fi has an impressive 99.5 percent up time ratio, after the incident rumors began circulating that increased internet usage could have caused the crash. Due to the continued prevalence of COVID-19 all courses were wholly online the first three weeks of the 2021 semester. Additionally, many classes will continue to utilize online meeting times throughout the rest of the semester. At this point, high quality wireless fidelity is more important than it has ever been. 

Has Maryville College adapted to the increased reliance on Wi-Fi within its campus? The short answer is absolutely. 

“During the outage on the 25th we were in the process of upgrading our core networking and the upgrade had to be made during the day,” said Systems Administrator Bo Carbonell. “The outage had nothing to do with increased wireless traffic.” 

In fact, the current student wide use of the College’s network is considerably less than its bandwidth limit. 

“In 2018 the College upgraded its bandwidth from 250 megabits to five gigabits,” said Director of Information Technology John Berry. “So, what is being used even now is well below the ceiling of bandwidth so to speak.” 

The College is also actively undergoing massive upgrades to its network and network technology, hence the brief outage on the 25th. 

For example, in September Maryville College invested in a generator to function as backup power for the data center in Fayerweather, where most of the campus’ Wi-Fi/internet equipment is housed. Investment has also been made in 10 gigabit fiber optic cabling placed across campus, improving on the current one gigabit cabling. Once installed, this should provide for lightning-fast internet connection. 

“No one predicted COVID-19, but with the internet improvements, with the generator, and improved fiber optic cabling, we will be doing well for decades to come,”  Berry said. “We will be way out in front. We are increasing our internet capabilities in an exponential way.” 

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