NEW BRUNSWICK – When Rutgers University began to experience its latest Internet disruption, one nearby coffee shop experienced a spike in laptop-toting customers seeking wi-fi.
“Monday night when it happened every two to three people were asking, ‘Do you have wi-fi?” said Gioia Kennedy, who works at Hidden Grounds Coffee Shop on Easton Avenue.
“At one point our Internet went down for about five minutes and customers were like, ‘Oh no, you’re Internet is down, too.’ When it came back, everybody was happy,” she said.
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Since Monday, Rutgers students have reported periodic outages in wi-fi service, email and Sakai, a resource tool used by both faculty and students.
Rutgers Office of Information and Technology (OIT) officials said Tuesday the service outages were related to a distributed denial of service attack. “OIT staff are continuing to work on restoring services,” OIT said in a Facebook message posted Tuesday morning.
At Caffeebene on George Street Tuesday night, there were so many customers in need of wi-fi that the system became overloaded, according to worker Inpyo Hong.
“The router is not handling this very well,” Hong said. “The Internet has gotten really slow and (webpages) are taking forever to load.”
Hong added that some of the wi-fi users had not made purchases. “Technically they have to be a customer to take a seat,” he said. “But I’m not really sure who has paid for something and who has not.”
A man who answered the phone about 7:30 Tuesday night inside Dunkin Donuts at 335 George St. said students were taking seats there, too.
“They’re only interested in the wi-fi,” he said. “There are a lot of people here.”
Albert Aydin, spokesman for Verizon, said students might want to consider – or ask their parents to consider – paying for a phone plan with plenty of data so their smartphones can be used as wi-fi sources.
“Most smartphones have the mobile hotspot feature,” Aydin said.
Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find NJ.com on Facebook.