Internet outage hits residences

Jan. 29, 2013, 4:25 p.m.

An Internet outage affected students across campus early Tuesday morning, with the failure of a network distribution switch causing the loss of wired and wireless Internet access for approximately three hours. The issue has since been resolved.

The equipment failure, which took place at around 1:25 a.m., impacted residences throughout campus. According to Nancy Ware, director of strategic planning and communications for IT Services, affected locations included Roble, Governor’s Corner, Lyman, Lagunita, Grove, Knoll, the Haas Center for Public Service and Wilbur Hall. Upper Row residents also reported outages during the same time period.

“It’s probably safe to say that nearly all of the undergraduate residences were affected,” said Sherwin Smith, Residential Computing consulting services manager.

Ware framed the outage as a relatively rare occurrence, noting that only one other such incident – which affected Escondido Village residences – took place in the last two years.

An effort to preclude such outages by providing residential networks with redundant network connections in case of equipment failure began in Dec. 2012 and will be completed by the end of this quarter. All academic buildings have already migrated to the new “backbone network.”

While acknowledging the widespread nature of the outage, Smith and Ware cited the University’s relatively quick resolution of the issue as a positive aspect of the incident. According to Smith, some residences had connectivity restored within 15 minutes.

“A lot [of] worse things could have happened,” Smith concluded.

Marshall Watkins is a senior staff writer at The Stanford Daily, having previously worked as the paper's executive editor and as the managing editor of news. Marshall is a junior from London majoring in Economics, and can be reached at mtwatkins "at" stanford "dot" edu.

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