Helias students and faculty experience frustrating Internet speeds, blockage, but help is on the way By Evan McCorkle

Users of Helias’s Internet have experienced frustrating Internet-related problems since the beginning of this school year. Helias has made many changes in technology this year to help the problem, but due to the increased Internet usage new problems have emerged. Several classrooms use the bring your own device (BYOD) policy this year, and students are bringing in their tablets and laptops to use in the classroom. Helias’s IT Director Tim Hronick has been working to eliminate the problems.

“I’m definitely having to respond a lot more to classrooms,” said Tim Hronick, IT director of Helias, adding, “whereas last year, we just had an iPad cart.”

Even with all devices working, Helias students and teachers may still not be able to access the material they would like.

“Helias’s biggest problem with their Internet right now is speed,” said Hronick. “Just having 700 people connect to the same speed that comes into a normal home causes them to start fighting for resources.”

Another problem other than speed is blocked sites on Helias’s Internet. Students and teachers have even said that they have noticed educational sites blocked.

“It would take many more hours than exist in a workweek to be able to monitor for content every one of the Web sites on the Internet. As a result, we rely on a third party rating system for websites unless we have had a specific instance where we’ve encountered a site that needs to be unblocked,” said Hronick. “From time to time there are educational sites that haven’t been rated by that company yet, or perhaps were rated incorrectly and they are blocked. Teachers and students can send a request to me via email or through the office if they find a site that they believe needs to be white listed.”

As upgrades are being made to the current system, bringing it up-to-date, Helias looks ahead and plans for the future.

“After our new facilities are installed and working properly, we’ll be upgrading the layout of the network here in the main building and getting everything on a tighter maintenance schedule,” said Hronick. “There is room for improvement in the way our Internet traffic is managed, and I hope that revamping how it is done will speed up the Internet for the whole campus.”

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