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Outage linked to usage

The Internet Technology department has traced the series of HallNet outages from earlier this semester to increased smartphone usage.

“Many users are now bringing three or four devices to connect to HallNet,” VSU IT director Joe Newton said in an email to students on Jan. 20. “We have seen as many as 200 BlackBerry smartphones connecting to HallNet, each consuming an IP address.”

According to Newton, these phones consumed 10% of all IP addresses on campus.

SGA Vice President Derika Powers pointed this out in SGA’s meeting Monday.

“Everyone now has smartphones and most people have it set up to where it automatically will connect to HallNet,” she said.

As a result, the IT department has chosen to block smartphone usage from HallNet, which Newton said was a “temporary, stop-gap measure.”

SGA President Graham Davis had an idea to why this was the case.

“HallNet as a whole is just really outdated,” he said. “Ever since I started here it’s had that same issue, and I can’t believe they haven’t gone ahead and gotten rid of the smartphones until now.”

The university is shopping around for a replacement, according to Davis.

“It really shouldn’t be too long before they actually make a purchase and redo the system,” he said.

VSU students have been quite vocal about the outages.

“For the most part, it’s been a hassle,” Staci Dyches, a freshmen undecided major, said. “It will always randomly shut down and it is really annoying.”

Other students felt it was inconvenient.

“I hate it,” Nicole Zent, a sophomore nursing major, said. “This semester has been even worse because it’s frustrating when the Internet shuts down, especially when I am in the middle of a quiz.”

Some students suggested future changes to HallNet.

“I feel like it’s slow,” Gary Moulliet, a communications major, said. “It needs a wireless connection that has a wider radius to accommodate the ongoing growth of the student body.”

Smartphone users, for now, will have to depend on their data plan for accessing the Internet with their phone, according to Newton.

For all tech-related problems, the it Helpdesk can be contacted at 229-245-4357.

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