University Information Services has asked Georgetown students to limit their Internet useas much as possible because of equipment damage that occurred during winter break.

On Jan. 12, UIS sent an e-mail to students and faculty detailing an incident that the school had been dealing with for over a week. A water main in the Ryan Administration Building suddenly burst open on Jan. 15, flooding and ultimately destroying crucial voice and data equipment. According to Chris Anderson, manager of University Information User Services, the flooded equipment chiefly affected Internet connectivity and phone lines.

Chris Peabody, associate director for network and computing services, led the immediate response to the break. According to Anderson, he paged the first technician qualified to deal with the problem around 2:40 a.m. He was followed by Peabody and David Lambert, vice president for information services.

“Directly after the flooding, only about 50 percent of telephones on campus were working,” Anderson explained, “but most of the phone service was restored by the end of the day.”

The problem of Internet connectivity proved to be more complicated, and although the university had some replacement equipment on hand, UIS is still waiting for two more pieces of hardware in order to restore the system fully.

The broadcast e-mail sent to all Georgetown students alerted them to the possibility of slow connectivity and also asked them to prioritize Internet usage to essential applications and resources required for academic activities.

“I think that it is kind of unrealistic to ask students to limit their time on the Internet because I know of a lot of people who are connected to Instant Messenger and other programs all day, every day,” Kristin White (SFS ’04) said.

Other students agreed with White’s assessment.

“I have become very dependent on the Internet for communication with friends and family and now I am going to have to expend a lot more energy doing it the old fashioned way,” Cynthia Redwine (MSB ’04) said. “However, the flood in the Ryan building did not affect me at all over the winter break.”

The Ryan administration building has been designated for conversion to the MBNA Performing Arts Center as part of the university’s 10-year plan.

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