WiFi networks across the University of Montana are down as of Monday afternoon, leaving campus buildings without internet access and students with little knowledge on when the system will go back online.
University of Montana spokesperson Dave Kuntz confirmed that the WiFi outage is widespread across UM. He added that the University is reaching out to other organizations across Missoula that also lost internet connection.
"The University is investigating," Kuntz said.
An email from UM Information Technology said that there is an issue with the fiberoptic network that UM and much of the Missoula region uses.
"We will not have an ETA on when our internet will be restored until we receive verification of the cause and solution, from the provider," the email said at around 4:45 p.m. on Monday.
Signs in the UC market show that the network outage is also preventing businesses from processing debit and credit card payments. The Kaimin office is also operating with no internet at this time.
Freshman Jake Kahn, who is studying political science, was working at The Market in the University Center when campus lost wifi. The 18-year-old was in the middle of a transaction with a customer when the internet went down.
“Several people have walked out because we aren’t accepting cards, just cash and Griz cards,” Kahn said.
Upstairs in the UC, Catering Office Manager Cristin Zachariasen was mid-email when the internet dropped. Without email working, Zachariasen said she couldn’t do her job because she couldn’t send out any catering orders.
“I can only do half my job,” Zachariasen.
Freshman Elizabeth Mangen was sitting in the UC Commons when she lost connection. She was in the process of submitting an assignment, one she said she had just spent an hour working hard on when the internet crashed. Mangen has been unable to submit the assignment since.
Sophomore Natalie Herr was emailing her professor when the outage hit. She said although it’s a nice excuse not to get work done, she hoped for productivity.
“They have a lot of incoming freshmen and all that money,” Herr said. “It’s kind of ridiculous.”
Until the WiFi is restored, Kuntz said the University will be communicating with students, faculty and staff through text message.
“The IT team is working furiously to identify and fix the problem,” Kuntz said.
This story will be updated.