Residents slowly get Web access in rooms

Students living in residence halls awoke to the hum of drills and power tools last spring, but with the implementation of network access in residence hall rooms this fall, they are beginning to reap the benefits of last semester’s inconveniences.

The system has some glitches, but Deborah Snelgrove, executive director of Student and Academic Support Services Communication and Technology, said most problems result from students’ lack of information.

“Most of the problems (come from) people not reading the literature,” Snelgrove said.

Alexa Kim, director for technology communications, said Thurston Hall’s network was down Monday. The system was shut off as a safety precaution after an air conditioning unit broke down, overheating computers. The problem since has been fixed, Kim said.

Some students said they were surprised Internet connection was not instantaneous. Individual connections take two to three days.

“It is an initial inconvenience but in the long run it is a good thing,” said Jennifer Young, a Thurston Hall resident.

Some students said they still were waiting for their Internet access to be connected, making it impossible for them to assess the system’s performance.

Snelgrove said 300 students registered for Ethernet cards between Aug. 20 and Aug. 23. Of those, 275 residents received network access by Monday. Nearly 140 students registered for access Monday.

The new system is overseen by ResNet, or Residential Networking, a division of SASS Comm. Ethernet connection is available in all residence halls except Madison, Mitchell and Riverside Towers halls, the Aston and the Mount Vernon campus.

Madison, Mitchell and Riverside Towers halls will be wired by spring 1999, Snelgrove said, but the Aston cannot be wired because it is not standard University housing.

Students in non-wired residence halls can connect to the Internet with a wireless Ricochet modem or through phone lines with a regular modem.

Residents in buildings with Ethernet access pay a $520 technology fee, Snelgrove said. The fee was implemented this year to fund Internet and cable services.

To use the network, computers must satisfy the recommended network configurations. Online access requires the installation of a media fiber converter and an Ethernet card. Ethernet cards can be self-installed or installed by ResNet for $50.

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