New Internet Server a Success

By Kat Saunders

When the residential internet service shut down two weeks ago on Friday the 17th, it raised concerns that the new Apogee, Inc. Internet service would not live up to expectations.
“I was unable to complete some of my homework, and I felt frustrated because it seemed like the same problems despite the new network,” senior Lauren Hoard said.
However, according to Kali Yadzi, vice president of Information Technologies and Chief Information Officer, the problem was related to equipment problems in Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, and are unlikely to occur again.
“Someone cut a fiber cable in Tyson’s Corner.  Anyone and everyone connected to that path were cut off,” Yadzi said.  “It’s an extraordinary event.  Because of that we are talking to Apogee about some fail over so if apogee is down students will still have service.”
However, according to Yadzi and to Associate Director of User Services Pam Lowery, the switch to the Apogee system has been largely successful.
“I was in the office on the Sunday students moved into residence halls.  Typically the phone would’ve run off the hook, and I got some calls, but most of those calls were some faculty and staff, by and large they were not from students,” Lowery said.
Lowery said that problems related to the Apogee internet service are handled by the company’s hotline, so she was unable to determine how many students did have problems with setting up their internet system.
However, the UMW coordinator for Apogee services received only 4 “tickets,” or complaints that were not able to be handled over the phone, by the Monday after spring semester move in, according to Lowery.
“I think that if students would be having huge issues we would be hearing about it,” Lowery said.
Yadzi had also heard complaints that certain digital content providers used for research will not work with the new provider.  Information Technologies is working with the University Library to fix that issue.
UMW’s switch to a new e-mail platform, hosted by Microsoft, was also largely semester.  The bulk of problems have been with MAC users, as Live@Edu is currently only compatible with Internet Explorer 7.
According to Yadzi, a new version of Internet Explorer will be released in February that is compatible with MAC computers.  Until then, students can continue to use the old mailbox system until the end of the semester.  Students may also use their old e-mail addresses, as long as they are forwarded to another interface, until graduation.
“All but one of the problems I have encountered with the e-mail system was due to that issue,” Lowery said.
Despite the apparent success, Information Technologies will continue to work on problems.
“If there are huge problems, we do want to hear about it, because we don’t want students to be underserviced,” Lowery said.  “We did this to try to make things better for students.”

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