Due to the steady increase in Internet users, especially those using smartphones and tablet PCs, KAIST’s network has been steadily becoming more and more unstable, especially in the dormitories. In order to increase bandwidth and allow more users to access Internet services, KAIST’s Information and Communications Team (ICT) undertook a major restructuring of the Internet system at KAIST over the Chuseok break, the cornerstone of which was the replacement of aging DNS servers.
Since the change, however, there have been more complaints over the fact that Internet speeds across all dormitories have become slower than pre-Chuseok speeds. Before the ICT’s new project, Internet speeds reached 90Mbps, but slowed to under 10Mbps afterwards, especially during peak usage times. KAIST’s community forum ARA was overloaded with students reporting greatly slowed Internet speeds or an outright loss of service.
According to the ICT, the number of “heavy-users” or IP addresses that use disproportionately more bandwidth than the rest of the network has been the problem. The top 20 users supposedly used up to 20% of the total allocated bandwidth. The Undergraduate Student Council intervened and quickly moved with the ICT to restrict service to these top 20 heavy-users from the network.
Yet arguments have been raised by the KAIST community over the fact that if heavy-users were the only problem then the Internet should have been unstable even before Chuseok. Such skepticism, coupled with the constant maintenance disrupting service across the dormitories, is increasingly testing the patience of many students, making a quick return to pre-Chuseok Internet speeds necessary.
Despite the problems with the university’s wired network, the ICT is continuing efforts to bring wireless Internet to all areas on campus by installing Wi-Fi in dorm areas and outside major buildings. Users can apply for services on the ICT’s website (http://ict.kaist.ac.kr, Korean only) and connect to the ID “Welcome_KAIST.” However, service will be unstable during the trial period from October 1 to 31.