I use it everyday. Whether I am looking up information, sitting in class, checking mail, or just wasting time, it’s safe to say that I spend at least an hour each day online. The Internet is every student’s most important resource. Lately though, I have been checking the Temple Computer Services’ “system status” page more than I check my own mail. The Internet service at Temple seems to be almost non-existent these days.
For the past week, connections have been slower than molasses. At first, the Computer Services department listed the problem as network congestion. After three days of lagging downloads, frequent errors and half-loaded sites, I decided to try and give the help desk a call. After a five-minute wait, which included a hypnotically monotonous recording, I finally got through. I felt as if I had won a small war. I proceeded to explain the issues and was told they were “working on it.”
Supposedly Napster was the culprit. The beloved song-swapping service was causing the network congestion, or so I was told.
The university decided to prohibit access to Napster and every student’s worst nightmare had come true. A collective groan resonated throughout the dorms when students awoke to find Napster inaccessible.
The problem still persisted, however. On the evening of Feb. 13, most students logged on to their computers to find that the Computer Services department decided to shut Internet access down entirely from 10 p.m. on. Some students do a majority of their homework and research during the late-night period, and this left that large group of night owls out in the cold. The emergency downtime lasted into the morning, but the problem still hadn’t been resolved.
Next, a power outage wreaked havoc on the system, only a day after the emergency shutdown. At this point, students have been waiting over a week for consistent, stable and semi-speedy Internet access. I would actually just bargain for consistent access, because semi-speedy is probably too much to ask for.
The folks over at Computer Services have done a decent job of updating the system status page. But, the main question still goes unanswered – When will I be able to surf the net consistently and download something? The system status page always reads with the same messages detailing how the department “continues to work on solving the problem of slow network access.”
Some may say that the Internet isn’t that important, and that its sluggishness is only a minor issue. But, imagine if you were a Computer Science major or Web page designer. The Web is your workplace.
Temple is quite well at making students feel like we are customers. The school easily “nickels and dimes” students with fees for just about everything. However, if they are going to attempt to run a business on North Broad, it’s time for them to start catering to the customers. Every student pays $50 a semester for Internet access, not to mention the many overpriced Ethernet installation fees. So why can’t we just get some results?