Campus-wide Internet outage takes BYU off the grid Thursday

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A Thursday afternoon outage wiped out Internet access in campus’s smaller buildings and phone service throughout the BYU campus.

The outage, which began about 5 p.m., lasted for about 50 minutes and affected network-connected devices, according to Mark Andersen, a network engineer from BYU’s network operations center. Affected devices included computers in the smaller buildings on campus, phone lines and network-controlled switches and control panels throughout campus.

Internet access was not restricted in the larger campus buildings, such as the Harold B. Lee Library, because they each have their own router. Smaller buildings on campus, however, receive Internet access though several common routers.

“There were some modules that went haywire, for lack of a more technical term, in those routers causing them to continually try to reboot,” Anderson said. “We are trying to determine now what it was about those modules that caused the problem, but the exact cause hasn’t been determined yet.”

While the outage did not shut campus down by any means, students, faculty and campus employees did experience some inconveniences. Dallin Scruggs, a mechanical engineering major from Salt Lake City, works in a computer lab on campus. He said that while the lab he was assisting in did not lose connection, the phones in his area did.

“Apparently our student manager’s phones work through the campus network,” Scruggs said. “So for a while, our only way to contact them, or find answers to questions was through our walkie-talkies.”

While the exact cause of the problem is still unknown, Anderson said that students and faculty members have no reason they should expect continuing issues.

“We don’t anticipate any future problems,” Anderson said. “These routers have been extremely solid and reliable and this was really an anomaly — out of the ordinary.”

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