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(Jun 27/13) It is mind boggling how McMaster does not invest in internet access to the library. I have read complaint after complaint about the speed of access to library, and yet, nothing seems to be done to fix this problem. I have spent countless hours trying to get work done off campus. The access to library on -line is simply impossible. I have to be on campus to get my work done. This defeats the purpose of working from home. The cost to me is taking a day off work plus travel and parking. I know that this problem can and should be solved so that students can do their work from home. I cannot get access from my work-place nor from home. Magically, I can get access to almost any other website. There is a severe bottleneck in the McMaster sysemt and I would like to know what is being done to fix this serious problem

Library response:

I understand your frustration, and share it. The particular issue is not one of speed, it's about connectivity, specifically for users off-campus coming in via DSL lines. We know that much, but what has made this issue so elusive is that the problems are neither persistent, nor consistenly replicatable. We have taken numerous steps to mitigate the issue, but as yet have been unable to make much of a dent. We are working with UTS and others on campus. I agree that there is a bottleneck here for this particular traffic stream, but finding the cause/source has been thus far challenging.

I should repeat here the one known solution: simply hit reload on the page. Typically, this problem manifests itself as the browser just spinning and spinning with nothing loading. If one has waited 7-8 seconds and nothing has loaded, it never will, so just hit reload. In my experience, this resolves the issue within two or three clicks. Not ideal, but at least it gets things moving again.

One last note: there are major upgrades occurring this summer to the network backbone for the campus, so hopefully many benefits will result from that work.

(Aug 1/13)
Answered by: Dale Askey (Associate University Librarian, Library Learning Technologies)

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