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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The Internet could work, we’ve seen it happen

Published: September 23, 2011
Section: Editorials

This board may as well be crafting this editorial under a pre-incandescent bulb while our photo staff work with negatives in the darkroom for all the pride in technological advancement we feel as we publish Brandeis’ community newspaper. We speak of course of the utterly unreliable Internet access on parts of campus; reader, we hope you can get this on Friday morning.

The university last spring announced a nearly $6 million technology upgrade, primarily, students were told, to upgrade the … utterly unreliable Internet access on parts of campus.

There are not only still plenty of kinks, but some areas of campus where access for students—the Usdan, um, Student Center and the Shapiro Campus Center—are some of the most troublesome. Whether “secure,” “open” or whatever else LTS wants to call the multiple networks, none of them are consistent, uninterrupted or anything close to what students need to trust to get them through a Brandeis term paper. (Or a newspaper.)

We hope the university is spending those millions wisely, even if the results just have not panned out yet. Incessant refreshing, reconnecting and rebooting tells us the attempted technology upgrade needs to try harder to avoid becoming a “Windows Vista” situation.

Reliable Internet access on a college campus is vital to educational performance and just common modern competitiveness. Six million dollars would be a good investment if it actually had improved the Internet experience on campus, which is best of course when the issue is forgotten—you never think about technology when it’s working perfectly. But we don’t find that it has. And our experience is probably typical, as we’ll reliably, journalistically confirm once we can access our e-mail again.

Perhaps this is the university’s way to clamp down on illegal downloading? We’re sure there’s been none of that as of press time Thursday night. This board disapproves of all illegal activity—no really, just check our websi—oh yeah, you probably won’t be able to do that if you’re reading on campus.

If the university fixes the Internet access, properly, spending the money it was supposed to spend, we promise not to harp on about this again: If it gets fixed, we’ll assume they listened. If it doesn’t, we’ll assume they couldn’t access this editorial page.