Julian Brenman ’20

Throughout these past couple of weeks, we have all tried connecting to different networks, reloading pages, etc. Yet, we have had little to no success. As you know, this is because the servers haven’t been cooperating. As a writer for FOCUS, I was lucky enough to speak to Mr. Dan Crowley, our director of technology, and Miss Vicki Schwoebel, who assists students and teachers with academic technology, in addition to her role as librarian. Below are some answers to the questions many of us have had about our wifi.

Question: Why is there a frequent lack of Wi-Fi recently?
Mr. Crowley’s Answer: There was a power issue in our server closet which caused our firewall to reboot unexpectedly and when power was restored, it had lost its configuration. The ITGuys (our network advisors) were able to restore the configuration, but when they re-booted the servers to apply the change, our primary DNS server crashed. The team then moved the DNS to a different server thus restoring connectivity but they are still in process of adjusting the configurations.

Question: There are rumors that other companies are managing the wifi at FCS Is this true? If so, what companies, and do they have anything to do with the problems we are facing?
Mr. Crowley’s Answer: The rumor is true – we are using a local IT consulting group to manage the network. These companies aren’t responsible for the issues we have been experiencing. They are actively repairing and upgrading the equipment.
Question: What is being done to solve these issues, and when will they be solved?
Mr. Crowley’s Answer: As I said, we are working with other companies to ensure our systems will be working again soon. They have made many adjustments since last week, and each day yields more improvements. Now that the crisis is behind, they have begun the process of improving the firewall routing and updating the servers. I definitely understand how important the network is to teaching and learning and the FCIT team and the network consultants are working very hard to make sure the connection is fast and reliable.
Question: If/when these issues happen, how do you recommend we, as tech-relyant students and teachers, can still do things on our devices?
Miss Schwoebel’s Answer: The best thing you can do is to go to your google doc settings, and turn on “offline sync.” This is a feature that allows you to edit and use documents without being connected to wifi.
Question: Is there anything else you want the readers to know about these issues?
Miss Schwoebel’s Answer: Yes! We want anyone who is having internet problems to let any member of the technology staff know. Though we are aware of larger issues, we can’t fix others if we don’t know about them. Go to the F.C.I.T website where you can access technology tips, and contact the tech staff with any problems.

Freshman Julian Brenman, author of this article, poses sillilly in front of the server closet.

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