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March 31, 2014 | by  | in News |
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WiFi Art Thou?

Campus internet is slow and hard to access, and the University has no idea why.

Victoria’s computer systems have been struggling to keep up with the return to class, with students unable to access campus Wi-Fi, and issues with Student Health and Blackboard.

In the first week of the semester, there were severe problems with the internet after the wireless connectors developed a fault.

Peter Borich, Associate Director Infrastructure and Services for Information Technology Services (ITS), said that the problem had been resolved.

“Since then there have been no further issues with the wireless network, with a record 11,500 concurrent users regularly connecting to the wireless every day.”

However, students spoken to by Salient say there are still problems with accessing Wi-Fi on campus. Some students had to try for up to 15 minutes to connect, and some were unable to connect at all.

Borich said there had also been “intermittent slowdown of the internet”, but this was unrelated to the wireless issues.

“This is most notable in the afternoon as the use of the internet increases; however, the intermittent nature of the problem is making it difficult to identify the root cause of the issue.”

“We understand the importance of the internet for students and are working hard to resolve the problem.”

As Salient went to print, the University had scheduled an outage as they had “identified a fault in their network which is believed to be the cause of recent performance issues with internet access.”

Student Health has also been hit by problems after introducing a new practice management system at the end of February.

One student told Salient she had waited for an hour after checking in for her appointment at Student Health. When she approached reception, she was told they had no record of her appointment.

Another former student found that her medical records had been lost by Student Health when she moved to a new doctor.

“It’s so irritating: I desperately need a prescription and now I can’t get one because they need my past prescriptions so they know I’m not just some crazy druggie.”

Medical Director of Student Health Garry Brown said: “we are aware that a very small number [of students] experienced problems in the initial few days with appointment bookings.”

“We expect to be able to send text messages to remind students about their appointments very soon, as part of our ongoing work with the software vendor.”

Borich said the University was also “experiencing some intermittent performance issues with Blackboard.”

“These occasional issues are being given very high priority and are being worked on now and will continue to be carefully monitored.”

Blackboard is vendor-supplied and -supported, and ITS does not make changes to the application. Blackboard was last upgraded in July 2013.


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