Thomasians will have to manage without the digital ID system and with limited Internet connection while the University network recovers from the breakdown of its eight-year-old processor switch.

To restore the connections, Santo Tomas e-Service Providers (Steps) will temporarily set up fiber optic lines directly from the main core located at the Data Center to the different buildings in the University. The installation of the lines will be finished in three to six months, Steps director Fr. Melchor Saria, O.P., told the Varsitarian.

“We have connected new lines to the Central Library, Main Building, and the Father’s Residence, where enrollment regularly takes place,” Saria said. “For the meantime, we will have the cables pass through the sides of the buildings, then to the offices.”

To facilitate the National Service Training Program final examinations, Steps will connect a two-kilometer fiber optic cable from the Data Center to the Faculty of Engineering building.

“If worse comes to worst, the students would have to take the final exams in the library or in the Main Building,” Saria added.

The breakdown of the Cisco processor switch in the Main Building last Sept. 2 disrupted the administrative systems of the University, caused the shutdown of the digital ID system, and affected the local area network connections in the offices and colleges of the University.

The transmitter, which handled 70 per cent of the data traffic in UST, linked the servers of the colleges to the main core.

“We have already planned to replace the equipment this year,” Saria said. “The network had been malfunctioning two weeks before the full shutdown.”


According to Saria, Steps previously tried to maintain the old Cisco processor switch by changing its parts with new ones. Steps, however, failed to find a dealer because the fast advancement of technology phased out the parts in four years.

Saria told the Varsitarian Steps had acquired a new processor switch in place of the old Cisco. The installation of Intermediate Distributing Facilities or “Telco” rooms that will house hubs and switches in every college will begin soon. This will also facilitate delivery of internet connections to every classroom.

Saria said Steps needs more funds to carry out the construction of the Telco rooms and purchase new fiber optic cables needed for the installation. But he said Steps is doing its best to repair the network through the temporary connection of lines.

“We are not sleeping on the job,” Saria said. “Right now, the situation is under control.”


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