A regional power outage that crashed internet access greeted students for their first day of classes.
At 11:01 a.m., a B-Alert sent to the student body said that Binghamton University’s Information Technology Services (ITS) was working with providers to address the connection issues, which impacted the larger community. At 12:45 p.m., a subsequent B-Alert announced the restoration of service, though users could face persistent slow response times. Initial reports said that the issues were not contained to the University, and they affected other agencies statewide.
Niyazi Bodur, the chief information officer at ITS, apologized for the outage, saying that his department would plan with internet providers to prevent future problems.
“The surge of new users on the first day of classes did not at all contribute to these issues, as both providers regularly service millions of customers simultaneously,” Bodur wrote in an email. “Unfortunately, when there is a regional outage experienced by our providers like the one today, there is not much the [University] community can do in terms of preparation, except to take steps like printing out class schedules beforehand or faculty preparing class materials that do not require [the] internet.”
Despite the systemic nature of the outages, many students expressed frustration toward the University as connection issues impacted many first-day plans. Last year, students and staff experienced several outages, criticizing a lack of communication from ITS.
Emma Settle, a junior majoring in psychology, was unable to find her first class due to problems accessing the University’s registration website. In her role working at BU’s campus bookstore, she also saw students struggle to finding course materials.
“I feel like the University should have been more prepared,” Settle said. “The first day is always crazy, so having an outage is really absurd.”
According to ITS’s System Status Dashboard, reports of the outage were first reported nearly an hour before the B-Alert. A later update said that University website logins were “overloaded with traffic,” which prevented students from accessing registration information.
Selina Chan, a sophomore majoring in mathematics, said the timing of the outage made the first day of classes a greater challenge.
“The outage was super inconvenient, especially for the first day,” Chan said. “My professor was struggling to help me with coursework because of the internet problems.”