x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

School’s internet speed fix means a week of no internet

All 900 pupils will be forced to go without Web access for a week as du promises to increase connection speed after four months of complaints.

Managing Director Sanjay Mankani said parents were unhappy about the constant disruptions during the past few months.
Managing Director Sanjay Mankani said parents were unhappy about the constant disruptions during the past few months.

DUBAI // A school is bracing itself for the possibility of losing all internet access for a week as engineers try to boost its online connection speed.

Regent International School in the Greens had asked the telecommunications operator du to increase its connection speed four months ago so it could use new technology.

Following months of complaints and connection blackouts, the school has been given new IP addresses (labels assigned to each device taking part in a computer network), which promise faster speeds.

"For us to migrate our servers to the new IP addresses is a massive task and not one we take lightly," said Sanjay Mankani, the school's managing director.

"It will require our network going offline for about a week and mean we would not even be able to send e-mails and the VLE [Virtual Learning Environment] will be completely down."

The National reported two weeks ago that the school, which has 900 pupils, had requested an increase in internet speed from 2mps to 16mps in October without success.

Despite repeated service calls made by du, pupils and parents have been frustrated with the loss of internet connections on a number of occasions.

The school needs the increased speed to allow its VLE - a sophisticated intranet system allowing the school to share pupil reports, attendance, homework and other information with parents - to run efficiently.

Mr Mankani said parents were unhappy about the constant disruptions during the past few months.

"It's crazy that you can get fast internet on your mobile phone but a school can't," said Tina Leamon, a British parent who has two children at the school.

"We live in the Green community so the VLE is crucial for us, not just to check how my children are doing, but also for getting notices about school closures and attendance," she said. Ms Leamon said many parents also used the VLE to organise events.

"The school really started to use the VLE in September and it was slow, which was why they had to get a faster connection speed," she said.

"We need the faster speed otherwise the system is very inefficient. Every time it goes down the children can't check to see what homework they have and it's very frustrating."

In a statement, du said: "With regard to Regent International School's query over their broadband speed, we are pleased to confirm that our technicians have visited the school, inspected the equipment and the internet speed has been upgraded, as requested.

"However, some technical work remains to be done to ensure the customer can take full advantage of the high-speed internet across the school's infrastructure.

"Our technicians are in touch with the school regarding this and extending them full support to ensure the issue is entirely resolved."

 

nhanif@thenational.ae