Wednesday, October 5, 2022


You may not be aware of it but apparently there have been problems with wi-fi on campus since September 26th. IT Services has been issuing bulletins about the issue.* Apparently, it is limited to Apple devices, which - of course - many people use.

The latest bulletin at the time of this posting - late yesterday afternoon - indicates that the problem is still continuing. Earlier bulletins report that Apple technicians have been trying to determine the cause of the problem. 

One result has been a Daily Bruin article grumbling about wi-fi service on campus more generally.** 

Blog readers will know that yours truly has grumbled from time to time about how well emergency services will work should, say, the Big One occur. UCLA has been converting its telephone service from landline to VoIP, a service that depends on the internet. The notion that internet will be available in the face of widespread power failures and other disruptions is far-fetched, to say the least.

Frontier, the company that provides landline and VoIP service recently sent out an email with this message:

VoIP customers need to know

Your Frontier VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone service, including 911 service will not function without electrical or battery backup power. If there is a power outage, you might not be able to make calls and you should make sure that you have a functioning battery backup for the Residential Gateway (RG) or the Optical Network Terminal (ONT) or an alternate means of calling 911.

IT services may insist that battery backup is available. But the internet is a complicated system that depends on more than equipment under campus control.

UCLA at one time had a low-powered AM radio station which could have provided news in a major emergency to the campus and Westwood area. Note that almost all cars have battery-operated radios that can tune to the AM band. So, even folks who don't have a radio at home may well have access to a car radio. Apparently, that service has been discontinued.

The bottom line here is that the more complex the technology, the more likely it is to experience problems and the less likely it is to function in an emergency.

To hear the text above, click on the link below:

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