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Network Upgrades Planned for Four Dorms

By Lauren E. LeBon


Information Systems and the housing department will begin renovations this summer to upgrade the network infrastructure in four dorms.

East Campus, Next House, New House, and Bexley Hall will receive a 100 Mbps MITnet connection and wireless Internet service. The dormitories were selected for renovation because they are considered to be in the most dire need of upgrades.

In addition, MITnet is now supported in part by a Cogent Communications connection to the Internet, after word that Genuity, Inc. filed for bankruptcy and was acquired by Level 3 Networks.

Renovations to begin in June

East Campus, Next House, New House, and Bexley were chosen to undergo renovations since these dorms currently hold network infrastructures that are “unmaintainable,” according to surveys taken last fall.

The renovations will begin no later than June, said Dean of Student Life Larry G. Benedict.

Andjelka Kelic G, residential network coordinator for Information Systems, said that the current telecommunication rooms in these dormitories are not large enough to hold equipment for the new connections. Housing and IS chose the locations in the dorms for new telecom rooms. The construction of these rooms will begin this summer.

When the renovations are complete, each student will receive four RJ-45 ports, one for telephone service, two for MITnet service, and one for future usage.

Half of the funding for the upgrades is being provided by the budget for renovations from the Residential Life Office. The other half will be provided by the IS budget for network upgrades. Roughly $900,000 of funding for the project will come from Residential Life, Benedict said.

The renovations were first discussed after residents of East Campus and Next House filed complaints about frequent interruptions in network service.

Senior House, Baker House, and Simmons Hall have new or recently renovated systems and will not receive upgrades soon, Benedict said.

Benedict added that the remaining dormitories may receive upgrades in the coming years, depending on funding.

MITnet adds Cogent connection

MITnet’s previous Internet provider, Genuity, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2002 and was acquired by Level 3 Communications shortly after.

Information Systems responded to this change by adding a connection from Cogent Communications, which will give MIT an extra gigabit per second of bandwidth to the Internet.

“The pricing was really phenomenal,” said Network Manager Jeffrey I. Schiller of IS. Schiller added that MIT does not pay a monthly connection fee to Cogent.

Under this new management, Information Systems expects changes to the old Genuity service. However, these changes will probably not be apparent to MITnet users.

“Usually when we add these things, there aren’t glitches and no one notices,” Schiller said.