An internet outage caused large amounts of inconvenience for students across Penryn and Woodlane campuses as well as student accommodation using the servers.
In an initial email sent to all students on the 28th February, the Vice Chancellor’s Office informed that “between 10:00 and 18:00 there will be an outage of the internet connection supplying both of our campuses. This is being caused by major and unavoidable works being undertaken by a third party to repair damaged lines in the region and will impact Falmouth University.
We understand the disruption that this will cause to your studies on this day and have been working with our internet provider to delay the works but were unable to do so. We’re now exploring ways in which we can minimise the disruption”.
Subsequent emails were sent out to students detailing plans to have certain IT suites open which enabled access to the internet but not University cloud servers including the Learning Space, University email, and online resources for the library. Across both campuses, 481 computers were available for use online.
Whilst access on campus was limited, halls of residence were without internet access meaning a limited amount of work could be done by over 2000 students from both Falmouth University and the University of Exeter.
Paige Blake, a resident of Tuke Hall told Truthfal: “It was extremely inconvenient for me. I couldn’t do research for my essay. I also couldn’t do basic research to back up drawing for illustration.”
Basically I couldn’t do any work that day from home academically unless I made up what I said or drew from no reference and that’s not going to happen. I was able to extend some work but a lot of the stuff I was going to research became unavailable. It was fine afterwards but a pain during the hours.”
Additional emails were sent out towards the outage and documents were provided detailing which services were available both on and off campus. However, the comments provided by Blake echo a sentiment shared, that it had put a hindrance on studying regardless. Especially for students currently working on dissertations who had all online resources cut off.
However, it seems that whilst mass blackout caused some disruption, the alerts issued by the University were well received.
Ulisses Felix works at Glasney Lodge on Penryn Campus and said during the 8 hours the internet was out: “a few students came, but the majority were already aware. I do think they handled it in the best way possible, it wasn’t going to be easy for anybody but because the University made everyone aware of where there would be some access, people were able to use that to their advantage.”
He added: “If this were to happen again, there is very little that could be altered to improve it.”
Whenever the internet goes down, those that need it the most always seem to believe it’s the end of the world. However, with everything that was made in preparation to alert students, it does seem everything went as smoothly as it could.