Fiber optic advertisement for the dorm is retro.

Imagine you’re living in a student dorm that has had fiber optic since 1974. And then, in 2024, you suddenly get an advertisement for the “soon arrival of fiber optic” in your mailbox.

Great!

If everything goes well, by this year, every room will be equipped with a synchronous gigabit connection, meaning 1,000 megabits of both upload and download.

That’s at least our goal for the 20th anniversary of our Network Work-group

Four out of nearly 6000 connections blocked

In rare cases, we must temporarily block certain connections to protect our network. This is done because of what are called abuse reports, which indicate that abusive activities might be happening from a connection. We receive this report from the BelWü-CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team), and our task is to stop the abuse with appropriate actions, which we do by turning off the connection of the room.

What is an abuse report?

In short, an abuse report is triggered when suspicious or unusual activities are observed coming from an internet connection. This could be, for example, sending spam emails or unauthorized attempts to access other computers. Often, you may not be aware of this behavior because it is usually caused by viruses or other malicious software that has secretly installed itself on one of the devices in the network.

No blame on you

We want to emphasize that such a blocking is in no way meant as a blame towards the affected users. In most cases, you are victims of malicious software acting without your knowledge. Our priority is to quickly identify and solve the problem to prevent further damage.

Why we block the connection

The fastest and most effective way to inform you about a possible security issue is by temporarily turning off the connection. This measure immediately attracts attention and prompts most users to contact us right away. This way, we can address the problem together as quickly as possible.

We are almost always available

Please note that we are also available on weekends and outside regular working hours. If your internet connection unexpectedly stops working, do not hesitate to contact us. We are ready to analyze the problem and offer you steps to solve it. Together, we can ensure that your connection is quickly safe and fully functional again.

Conclusion

The security and reliability of our network are very important to us. Through proactive measures like these, we want not only to ward off potential threats but also to raise awareness of the importance of network security. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation in keeping our shared digital environment safe.

If you have any questions or concerns, we are always here for you.

Maintenance Work Announcement week 3

In week 3, which is from January 15 to January 21, some maintenance work is scheduled.

Hohenheim

The maintenance work starting on Friday will be long and unpleasant for the people in Hohenheim.
The fiber optic lines in Hohenheim to get extended to be used in a different location because of the renovations.
Without the fiber optic line, there will be no internet there.

The work will be carried out by a specialist company and is scheduled to start on Friday morning, which is January 19.
The work will take a long time, so we announce a complete internet outage in all student dormitories in Hohenheim from Friday morning to Saturday noon.

If it’s done faster, please avoid sending us messages all day. It won’t speed things up.
The company will complete their work as quickly as possible, and we will reconnect the fiber optics.

Tuebingen, Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse

On Thursday, January 18, starting around 5:30 PM, we will finally be able to equip our dormitories in Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse with modern technology.
For the residents, this means they will be able to use gigabit internet in their rooms afterwards.
Since we haven’t been able to implement the exclusive use of routers in Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse due to technical reasons, we will not enforce this immediately but only from the start of the summer semester (April 1, 2024).
We expect the installation to take about 3 hours, meaning you will probably have unrestricted internet access again from 9:00 PM.

Tuebingen, Schimpf-WG

There will be a maximum half-hour interruption in internet access at the Schimpf-WG. We had announced this work several times before but could never implement it due to problems accessing our hardware in the neighboring building. We cannot say exactly when this will be, but it will happen some evening between Monday and Thursday.

30th December Update

After a failed network-wide update on the night of December 27th to 28th, several buildings experienced unspecific internet outages. We are in the process of resetting all devices and hope this will fix the disturbance. When resetting, the devices will restart, and you will be completely offline for up to 15 minutes. This was, of course, not planned. Please always report outages directly to us and not in any messenger groups. As soon as we receive feedback, we can take appropriate action.

Quo vadis Gigabit?

In Geislingen, Sigmaringen, and Albstadt, we have installed Gigabit switches for quite some time. It was more of a coincidence that these places were equipped with Gigabit internet before Tübingen and Hohenheim.

We have just checked how many residents of the dormitories actually use the offered Gigabit internet.

The results are somewhat sobering: In Albstadt, 53% of the residents use the Gigabit internet, in Sigmaringen it’s 33%, and in Geislingen only 25%.

This raises the question of whether we have not informed well enough that Gigabit can be used with the right router, or whether the residents simply do not need such high internet speed.

Workload Admissions Winter Semester 2023/24

Since we have some time, we would like to provide a brief review of the admissions wave for the winter semester of 2023/2024.
The wave of admissions can also be clearly seen in the volume of emails.
All emails were answered manually and in the shortest possible time.
I will write a separate article about the most notable routers of this admissions wave.

WS2023-24 Mails
WS2023-24 Mails by time
WS2023-24 Mails by day
WS2023-24 Mails by month

Network restructuring on the weekend of November 25th and 26th, 2023.

Next Saturday and Sunday, we finally have the long-awaited network restructuring happening.

These changes are necessary to improve the performance and reliability of our network.

To minimise the impact on you, we’ve planned to carry out the restructuring early in the day. During these times, there are usually fewer users online, which should reduce any inconvenience.

The scheduled offline periods will each last about an hour. We understand that this may be a bit inconvenient temporarily, but we are confident that the long-term benefits will outweigh any short-term inconveniences.

We appreciate your understanding in advance.

Update Nov 25th 2023 4:15 PM:

Yesterday, Malte worked until 11:30 PM, and Lucas until 1:00 AM, preparing and configuring.

The implementation of network changes started this morning at 10:00 AM and resulted in a longer network interruption across the entire network (student housing and dormitories) at 10:30 AM.

The interruption lasted from 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM and then from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM. The work was completed by 3:30 PM, and the last device came back online at 4:00 PM.

During the cleanup following the work, no further outages are expected.

Whether work will be needed again on Sunday depends on whether disruptions are reported to us or if we discover issues that are not functioning as desired.

November 2023 Welfenstrasse

The internet at Welfenstrasse 80 is not working right now.

We first heard about this issue on November 11, 2023, after 10 PM, but the information was not very clear at first.

After checking the wireless bridge from a distance and ruling out other possible causes, we hope it’s just a loose mount on the bridge.

But, we are worried that we might need to replace it.

Just to be safe, we are sending a request today for a replacement to StuWe.

All checking and fixing work depends on the weather, because we need to go on the roof to do it.

So, we are hoping for better weather tomorrow to check the hardware in person.

As always, please report right away if something isn’t working. Describe the problem and what kind of tech you are using. We already know how important the internet is, so you don’t need to mention that. Just tick the box if you feel like saying that.

Update Tuesday 14.11.2023 6:30 pm:

In the morning, it became clear that there would be a long break in the rain, which might allow us to work on the roof in Hohenheim. That’s why we decided to have a meeting during lunch break. One of us, who was professionally near Hohenheim, was able to be on the roof in Egilolfstraße during the conversation and check the antenna there and its alignment.

Originally, we thought that the antennas had reached the end of their life and needed to be completely replaced. Getting new ones would probably have been possible by the end of the week, but in the meantime, the poor internet connection would remain. Therefore, we came up with the idea to dismantle a part of a radio bridge, which was used as a test setup, from another roof and replace it in Hohenheim today. Right after the meeting, we implemented this and around 16:50, we were able to replace the antenna on Welfenstraße, which was responsible for the disturbance. After some driving and a bit of traffic, I am now here dictating this text, which I will have ChatGPT format before I leave for the evening.

We hope that the system is now working again and plan to create redundancy soon. This way, if this pair of antennas fails, it can automatically switch to a better system.

Of course, we would prefer to have a fiber optic connection to you, as we usually do, but that seems difficult.

Update 15.11.2023, 7:30 pm:

A new day, a new attempt! Unfortunately, the exchange in Welfenstraße yesterday was not successful. Therefore, we have now placed the antenna that we had removed there on Egilolfstraße and thus swapped everything once.

Currently, there are no new outages to report, and we hope to gain some time to decide on 2 more antenna pairs. These should then be able to function in continuous operation as redundancy for several years.

Once you are in Hohenheim, such an exchange is quickly completed. The travel time alone today was approximately 3 hours.

Update 16.11.2023, 8:15 am:

Now sign of a problem since the exchange, but also no feedback from anyone who lives there.