Internet down over weekend

Sarah Holley wasn’t having an argument, but her conversation ended abruptly. She had been sending instant messages Friday when the Internet stopped working.

“It’s just irritating,” said Holley, an Elizabethtown junior. “We pay for that service. If it doesn’t work, we shouldn’t have to pay for it.”

The Internet was down in the dorms during the weekend after a problem with a university server, said Dave Beckley, director of network computing and communications.

A program on one of the servers that allocates the IP addresses to computers in the dorms was not working, Beckley said. An IP address allows communication from one machine, such as a computer in the dorm, to another machine.

“Since they were not getting an IP address, they could not communicate with anything else,” Beckley said.

Information Technology did not know of the problem until Monday morning, Beckley said.

He said that an automated monitoring system usually detects problems with the network on the Hill and alerts Information Technology staff.

They were unaware of the problem because the server was working, but a process – a program that runs on a particular server that distributes IP addresses – was not, he said.

He said Information Technology personnel had to restart that program to get Internet access back in dorms.

The Internet was working in dorms again yesterday morning.

This was the first time such an incident has happened at Western, Beckley said.

He said that networking personnel are discussing the possibility of monitoring the IP address distribution.

Students across the Hill were frustrated because of the malfunction.

Elizabethtown junior Mike Porter was trying to check his bank account and e-mail Friday night in his Zacharias Hall room when he discovered the Internet wasn’t working.

He said it wasn’t too inconvenient for him, but “it still sucks because you expect to have the Internet when you need it.”

Louisville junior Kristen Meadows said the Internet problems didn’t allow her to study well for a test she has on Thursday.

“It seems like the times I need it the most, it’s not working,” she said.

Franklin sophomore Josh Moore was out of town for the weekend. But the lack of Internet still caused issues for him on Sunday night when he returned.

Moore said he went to a friend’s room in Southwest Hall whose Internet connection was working.

It’s possible that some dorms may not have been affected or that some IP addresses had not yet expired, Beckley said. IP addresses expire in less than 24 hours.

Holley not surprised by the problem.

“I was like, ‘That’s Western for you,'” she said.

Reach Ashlee Clark at [email protected]