For over a month, there were many issues regarding the internet among the student mass, to find a solution of which, team MM caught up with Prof. A.K. Turuk, Head of Computer Centre.
MM: It is observed that most of the times, the internet is down, even during holidays and if available, the speed is comparatively slow, which is a prime concern among the student mass. What is the reason behind this?
AKT: It has been around one month that we are facing this issue. Presently, we have 3 ISPs- BSNL, Ortel and Reliance, out of which BSNL is directly connected to hostels. The problem doesn’t lie on our side rather on the sides of the service providers. In Rourkela, we have only three ISPs, there is no fourth alternative. Last month, we had registered a complaint with the service providers of Reliance, which till now is unanswered. We should aptly get a speed of 45 mbps and 1000mbps from Reliance and BSNL respectively but in reality we are getting only 1mbps and 700mbps at max. Some of the hostelites are reallocating the bandwidth by using some software for which all are not able to access the same bandwidth. We are trying to replace Reliance, as it is causing more problems and also we are trying to shift from Cyberoam to Checkpoint.
MM: What happened to the Fortinet trial?
AKT: We evaluated both Fortinet and Checkpoint for about a month and we found that Checkpoint will be better. Probably, by the end of this semester, we will be setting up Checkpoint.
MM: How is Checkpoint better than Cyberoam?
AKT: From a security point of view, Checkpoint is really good. The firewall software enables network administrator to securely control access to clients, server and applications. Hence, if any kind of malicious activity is going on, then we’ll be able to block it.
MM: Is there any chance for the hostels to have internet facility during the morning hours? If not complete access, is it possible to grant access to at least educational sites? Can an exception be made for all-day long internet, at least during the exam time?
AKT: Our main concern is attendance, and when internet will be provided in the morning hours, then there’s a huge chance that students will stop attending classes and instead use the internet, for recreational or productive purposes, and that would cause them to fall short on their respective courses, which shouldn’t happen.
Moreover, it’s not my decision. If the administration gives the permission to access some educational sites in the morning hours, then it is possible.
“No, we had put forward this proposal of having internet for the whole day during exam time, and the director disapproved of it, so it cannot happen.”
MM: It was proposed last semester that the Library will be a WiFi hub. Is there any progress on that?
AKT: No progress has been made till date. We’re having a budget crunch, and installing campus-wide WiFi is a mammoth task for now. We planned on installing routers in the library and some have been removed from the hostels which could be used to facilitate one floor of the library with WiFi.
MM: While logging in Cyberoam, instead of getting logged, an XML page pops which has to be refreshed many times to finally get logged in. What’s the reason behind this?
AKT: The Cyberoam license has expired due to which minor glitches like this will arise.
MM: In Zimbra Client Webmail, the message compose is coming in a distorted fashion. Why is that?
AKT: Google Chrome has revoked a certificate due to which this is happening. This problem is only concerning Chrome and not the other Web Browsers.
MM: NITRAA offered to sponsor for WiFi in VS Hall of Residence. Has any steps been taken regarding that?
AKT: I have no idea about this. I was once told that some alumnus wanted to sponsor for WiFi, but after that no progress was made.