Feb 102010
Authors: Madeline Novey

What’s black and yellow and never read?

A phone book.

But a Collegian reporter was forced to use one Wednesday evening to contact CSU’s Academic Computing & Networking Services (ACNS) when the Internet went down across campus for about an hour the same afternoon.

When asked when the Internet last crashed on campus, ACNS Director Scott Baily said, “I can’t remember the last time.”
The Internet is normally working campus wide 99.99 percent of the time, Baily said, adding Wednesday’s disconnect, lasting from about 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., was “… an extraordinary event, highly unusual.”

CSU is a part of a fiberoptic ring that connects Fort Collins to other cities including Boulder, Longmont and Denver. The fiber ring passes through a facility owned and maintained by Level3, a telecommunications company in Denver.

Level3 experienced a major power outage Wednesday afternoon, which took some of CSU’s equipment down –– the Internet crashed at this point –– even though it has both battery and generator backup, Baily said.

An article that was accessed via cellphone during the outage reported that the Internet went down after a line was cut in Longmont. This was not true, however, Baily said, noting that the ring of service is designed to reroute service to all institutions within its range in the case that a line were cut by heavy equipment, Baily used as an example.

CSU Police Department communications were not effected by the outage, Baily said. The department has access to the safety facilities in Larimer County.

“Their ability to communicate with other life and safety organizations was not impacted,” he said.

Junior journalism major Whitney Aring was working on her online classes in the Morgan Library when the Internet crashed. The ironic thing, she said, was that her Internet wasn’t working at home.

Working on homework on RamCT at the time of the crash, junior speech and journalism major Nicole Frank said she was frustrated by the time she lost. But she’s sure she would have been more upset if she had been “in the middle of a good conversation” on Facebook.

News Managing Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Campus-wide internet crash
Duration: one hour, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Cause: CSU’s networking service provider/main aggregate point Front Range GigaPOP went down

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