June 2011

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Update 20-07-2011

Telephone Services have now repaired the phones but currently the room number to phone number mappings are wrong.  This will be fully corrected in September.  If you need to know your internal number now, please dial ‘zero’ and ask the operator what your number is.  For any telephone related problems please contact Telephone Services directly <telephone-services@bristol.ac.uk>

Update 15:15 29-06-2011

ResNet is now back up and running.  Again, sorry for any inconvenience caused.  For any telephone related problems please contact Telephone Services directly <telephone-services@bristol.ac.uk>

Update 09:30 29-06-2011

Engineers are on site to fix cabinet back to wall and splice the fibre optic cable.  Assuming this all goes well and there are no additional breaks in the fibre optic cable then ResNet connections at Manor House should be back by this evening.

Telephone services will be re-terminating the phones but I don’t yet have a date for this.  If this is causing you any serious problems then please contact Telephone Services directly <telephone-services@bristol.ac.uk>


During routine maintenance of the switches in the data cabinet that feeds Manor House the cabinet became detached from the wall.  What’s amazing is that this has not happen years ago as it was fixed to a plasterboard wall without any structural load-bearing noggins.

To make the cabinet safe we have had to cut the fibre optic cable and all phone connections – this means that you are without data (ResNet) and phones until we can do the following:

1) Get Estates to correctly fix the cabinet to the wall
A call has been made and they are expected to do this on Wednesday morning.

2) Splice the fibre optic cable that was cut
We are talking to our fibre contractor, who happen to be in the area, for a date and time to do this.

3) Get telephone services to reconnect the phones
Telephone Services are aware of the problem but we don’t yet have a timeframe for this to be done.  They will need to see the severity of the problem first.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience this will be causing but hope to have your ResNet connections fully functional before the weekend.  I can’t comment yet on the phones though.

This post will be updated when we have further information.


Mark Elley
Residential & Mobile IT Manager

While we already compare favourably with commercial broadband providers (on price, speed and bandwidth quotas) there’s always room for improvement – so we’re rethinking how much bandwidth we give you on ResNet.

Making your usage quota easier to understand

Currently you have two bandwidth quotas, one for off-peak and one for on-peak times of day.  Going over either quota lands you in a slow network for the rest of the week – at all times of day. This is confusing, and terribly inconvenient if you want to skype your friends back home during peak hours…

So, we’re getting rid of peak-time!

We’ve combined the on and off peak quotas to give you a single quota of 48GB per week (For ResNet Standard) or 81GB per week (For ResNet Max) – no more worrying what time it is!

We’ve been trialling this change since 23rd May and it’s been going pretty well so far.  The My ResNet control panel, and the Bandwidth Gadgets don’t fully know about the change yet, so your on-peak usage is being reported as zero.  If the trial continues to work out ok, we’ll have to see about fixing that!

If 81GB per week isn’t enough for you, you can still buy extra chunks of quota through My ResNet.

Making your connection even faster!

Not content with making things easier, we’re making them faster too!

Starting Monday 13th, we’re going to increase the speed of ResNet wired connections to 50Mbps symmetric – That’s 50Mbps download speed, and 50Mbps upload speed.  Once we’ve made that change, ResNet connections will be faster than BT Infinity Broadband (which gives you 40Mbps download speed, and 10Mbps upload)

Why is this awesome?  (Apart from it being obvious that faster is better!)

Well it means you can take full advantage of cloud based storage/backup solutions such as iCloud, Windows Live SkyDrive or Ubuntu One. It makes uploading photos or video to facebook/vimeo/flickr/youtube super quick, but most importantly – whatever cool new internet functionality is coming round the corner, we want your ResNet connection to be ready to handle it.

At this stage, we’re not making any changes to the speed of the wireless network.  We can make it a bit faster than it is at the moment, but we can’t make it quite as fast as the wired network.  So to take full advantage of the speed boost you’ll need to use your wired connection.

“With great power comes great responsibility” – Spiderman

Once your connection is faster than a very fast thing going downhill on rollerskates – it does mean that it’s easier to use up all your bandwidth quota.  We’ve done some sums and we think a bittorrent client serving up something popular (like an Ubuntu Linux DVD image) left unchecked could rip through the ResNet Max weekly limit in under 4 hours – on upload traffic alone!

If you’ve got any filesharing software on your computer, you might want to limit how much it can upload to the internet.  Most programs allow you to specify a maximum upload speed – we suggest setting this as low as you can get away with!

Not-that-small-really smallprint: All the features mentioned above are being trialled, we reserve the right to end the trial at any time if things start to melt.  We’ll make a decision about what next years network speeds look like based on the results of the trial, so the above features may or may not be available for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Oh, and they apply to ResNet only.  The VisitorNet service got an 8 fold increase about a month ago but that’s as far as we can push that for the moment.


If you’ve got any questions or comments about the trials mentioned above, hit the comments below!