By Mariia Lysikova
Editor: Maryna Barysheva
When will LCC Internet become better?
That is the question that has been bothering LCC students and staff and faculty for a long time, and the research that will get underway during the Spring semester will be able to provide some answers.
What once was a rare occasion during peak hours now became the regular routine for an LCC student. The speed of the Internet and sometimes even the ability to connect started to vary drastically during the Fall semester, ranging between 2.68 to 41.52 Mbps download/upload speed throughout campus at various times of the day.
Mike Henry, LCC Web design professor, volunteered to explain the puzzling mechanism of the on-campus Internet and possible complications that arise with it.
“Typically each access point can handle a certain amount of devices. Above that point, it starts slowing down. We are in a situation where we have a lot of people move across campus,” said Henry. “Essentially, it is the problem of capacity and affordability.”
Student behavior can also disrupt the network.
“The access point can work just fine, but one person on the floor, for example, can abuse the network,” said Henry. He clarified that computers with viruses and other technical problems may take up the capacity of the local access point. According to Henry, while the IT department can do some things to prevent this, it is limited in their ability to solve such problems.
Unlike IT, campus residents can minimize the risks for the Internet collapse by using legal copies of the software and regularly running an antivirus on their devices, pointed Henry.
Povilas Norbutas, the Director of the LCC IT Department, ensured that the IT department will start working on improving Wi-Fi connection during Spring 2020. Since the Wi-Fi connection is a dynamic environment, where a lot of variables come into play, it may be challenging to identify the exact issue instantly.
“We need to improve the Wi-Fi connection; it just does not happen overnight,” said Norbutas. “During the Spring semester, we are going to research a problem and find a solution that will have a higher impact and provide higher service for a lower amount of money.”
Norbutas also explained why it is important for the solution to be cost-efficient: “Let’s say, 90% of area costs 100, 000 euros, but covering 100% of the area costs 300,000 euros.”
Therefore, instead of trying to cover all the areas, the IT Department will improve technology in general after conducting tests to detect the core reason of the issue: technology, environment, or user behavior. According to Norbutas, the focus will be on the dormitories area and user behavior.
“We constantly get requests from our Internet provider to block certain users who abuse the network by downloading illegal information, for example, peer-to-peer downloading of torrent files,” said Norbutas.
Two questions are expected to be covered in the research: type of technology to improve and traffic that takes most of the network.
Answering these two questions will help to implement the best solution over the summer, ensured Norbutas.
Although student complaints can be helpful in the research process, lack of detail in these inquiries makes them vague and therefore impractical.
“For the IT department, complaints like ‘the Internet got worse’ are not actionable, because they do not include the time, the location, and the conditions of Internet failure,” said the IT Director. “If you are sending a complaint to us, the most useful thing is to be as specific as possible.” According to the response that Norbutas sent to the LCC student body in regards to the common Internet issues back in Fall, it is most helpful if students report any problems directly to firstname.lastname@example.org with specific details, such as typical time range, location points, and device type/brand.
“Such detailed student feedback helps us look through system logs and see if there are any technical issues we can fix immediately, ” wrote Norbutas.
IT Department encourages students to take an active part in the research process and report Internet failures with precise detail.