Heavy rains cause DU Towers to lose Wi-Fi connection

Duke Archive Photo
Students experienced a Wi-Fi outage for approximately four hours on Sunday, Sept. 9, after the rainy weather caused water damage to the Towers network closet.

Gabriella DiPietro | News Editor

09/13/2018

The world of education has drastically changed since the introduction of the Internet, especially on the college level. But when the Wi-Fi is down, how can college students survive?

A number of Duquesne University students were faced with this dilemma after access to the university’s Wi-Fi network, DuqNet, became unavailable in Duquesne Towers Living Learning Center for students living on floors 15B, 16B and 17B on Sunday, Sept. 9.

Bill Zilcosky, senior director of facility services and operations, noted that the issue arose at approximately 12:15 p.m., “after water from the weekend’s heavy rains leaked into a Towers’ network closet and two network switches that provide network service for the B side of floors 15-17.”

During this time, students on those floors were unable to go online, barring them from doing research, watching Netflix, online shopping or anything else requiring an Internet connection.

According to Chuck Bartel, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, CTS and the facilities staff worked diligently to resolve the issue.

“We strive to offer continuous network services to the campus community, but sometimes events beyond our control can create outages,” said Bartel. “When these occur, we work to identify and resolve the issues as quickly as possible.”

The issue was later resolved, restoring network service (including wireless) to nearly all of those affected by 4:35 p.m. on Sunday.

“There were two Wi-Fi access points that did not recover as there was damage on the wiring panel where access points connect,” said Bartel. “We were unable to get into the two student rooms where the access points are housed on Sunday but did reach out to them.”

Shortly after discovering this issue, Duquesne University Computing and Technology Services (CTS) tweeted out a network advisory, noting, “CTS is currently aware of the issue and working to resolve it.”

“Once CTS was aware of the issue and the resolution plan, we used Twitter to inform the campus community,” said Bartel. “Duquesne students, faculty and staff who would like to receive these real-time alerts in the future, as well as other information of interest from CTS, can follow @DuqCTS.”

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