The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Students Frustrated by Internet Malfunctions

3 min read

UMW students on campus experienced difficulties connecting to the Apogee network Wednesday, Oct. 28.

The problems started around 2 p.m., and became more prominent by 8:45 p.m.  The issues were finally resolved and the Internet was back up around 11 p.m.

Unfortunately for juniors, the network outage impacted those with 2 p.m. registration appointment times.

“I couldn’t sign on to Eaglelink for the first five to 10 minutes of the 2 o’clock registration, which might have been the reason that one of my classes was full by the time I registered,” junior Jenny Curtis said.

However, students who had Internet problems were able to register at the Office of the Registrar in Lee Hall, according to Registrar Rita Dunston.

“Any student who called or emailed—we told them to come over to the registrar’s office, [because] we were still online,” Dunston said.  “We were able to register some of those students.”

Dunston said there were less than five students who came to the Office of the Registrar needing help during the outage, which lasted between 30 to 45 minutes.  She also said that registration seems to have improved since the school switched over to Apogee last semester.

Complete Wi-Fi coverage has been beneficial in many ways to students who used to rely on Ethernet cords. However, the Apogee network failed to work for some students again later that night.

“It was terrible,” sophomore Caitlin Sheehan said.  “I was unable to submit a homework assignment due on Blackboard because the internet wasn’t working.  Lately it hasn’t been very dependable; I was expecting them to have the glitches fixed by now.”

Apogee assures students that technical glitches can happen with any network system and that they try to make their glitches as infrequent as possible.

“No system is immune to hardware failure, and our regular processes take this into account,” Apogee Spokesperson Nat Nealeigh said.  “Our standard practice is to provide back-up systems to ensure redundant network access, replace hardware regularly, engage in proactive monitoring of the network and provide 24/7 support to all students.”

As soon as Apogee learned of the problems on campus, they began efforts to repair the network outage.

According to Nealeigh, Apogee’s monitoring systems picked up on a hardware failure. He said that the failure affected a “critical server component” responsible for allowing students to access the network.

“As soon as we were alerted to the issue, Apogee implemented backup measures to restore access through redundant systems built into the network,” Nealeigh said.

According to Apogee, these service interruptions are rare and should not affect students regularly.

On Sunday, Nov. 1, following the service interruption, Apogee stopped network service at 3 a.m. for maintenance, which ended at 7 a.m.  The network should be up and running now for all students.

“There haven’t been any chronic problems with network access,” Nealeigh said. “Any students experiencing an issue with their network connection should contact our 24-hour support center and we’ll work with them to troubleshoot any issues.”

The toll-free hotline for Apogee is 1-877-478-8808.  Students are encouraged to call and speak with a technician, who can help troubleshoot their problems.

Follow me on Twitter