Residents of the Education City student housing continue to face intermittent connectivity issues after internet service in university buildings was restored following a 10-hour network outage on Jan. 24.
The problem was caused due to a “severed fiber connection for the link that connects Education City,” according to the notice sent by the Student Affairs Department at Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ) on Monday.
The outage affected both virtual and in-person classes across universities in EC. According to Canvas notifications and the TAMUQ student affairs, faculty and staff were encouraged on short notice to work remotely until Tuesday.
The damaged fiber links were repaired, and the network was functional again by 10 p.m. on Monday, as per an email sent out to the Northwestern Qatar (NU-Q) staff and faculty. Qatar Foundation’s IT service provider, Meeza, declined to make a comment on the issue.
“You do what you can to work around,” said NU-Q Professor Kelly Wilson. “I ended up staying home and working from home.”
On Jan. 20, student housing had faced similar disruption, with residents of male and female dorms experiencing unavailable Wi-Fi connections for over four hours in the evening.
“We were told they are testing a new network,” said Ulukbek Kaziyev, a Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) student, about the outage. Kaziyev and his peers could not access the internet at the GU-Q building on Monday, despite being told that the issue was resolved.
Taniya Tleubayeva, a freshman at NU-Q, echoed Kaziyev’s complaints. “All four Wi-Fi’s were completely down, and I had three deadlines that night,” she said. The incident on Jan. 20 occurred without prior notice, and residents were informed only after they reached out.
As a result, Tleubayeva and her friends have resorted to using cellular networks to access the internet more frequently, but using cellular data for assignment submission is unsustainable and expensive, she said. “I spent a lot of money on my [cellular] data this semester. That wouldn’t be necessary if the Wi-Fi in the dorms worked properly.”
With COVID restrictions still in place, finding alternative spaces to work and study has also been a hassle for affected students.
Delayed maintenance services are continuing to cause connectivity problems, said Hendriyadi Sila, a graduate student at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and resident of male student housing. “The dorm staff informed us that the issue would last over the weekend, yet the problem has expanded for a few weeks now,” he said.
In an email sent to student housing residents on Wednesday, Qatar Foundation Housing informed them that due to essential internet firewall migration activity, residents of male and female dorms will face service outages from the evening of Jan. 27 to the next morning.
An earlier version of the story incorrectly stated “The damaged fiber links were repaired, and the network was functional again by 10 p.m. on Tuesday” instead of 10 p.m. on Monday.