Our Spring 2024 Newsletter





UPdate From
the Executive Director!

As the academic year draws to a close, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of summer’s warmth and a chance to spend some time with our families.  And while summer vacations are on the horizon, we remain vigilant in addressing several ongoing challenges.  

Our team continues to closely monitor the turmoil that has been seen in the FASFA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) process and are working with our schools to implement the appropriate application updates as they become available.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another key component that requires scrutiny as it is ever present in many of the applications, we use every day and only becoming more prevalent.  And as always, maintaining good cybersecurity is something that does not get to take a summer vacation.   

We also continue to work on additional physical projects at WVNET with the installation of a new generator for our data center in the upcoming months and the continued progress in not only upgrading our network speeds but working to improve redundancy and diversity in our network paths. 

So, enjoy your upcoming vacations and time away, knowing that WVNET services and support will still be available. 



Department Updates

State of West Virginia Public Service Recognition Week (May 5-11, 2024) 

Since 1985, the United States has designated the first full week of May as Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW) to honor the men and women who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees. 

The State of West Virginia Public Service Recognition Week is a time to honor and thank WV public employees for their service, beginning with 20 years of service (and proceeding in increments of five years). For 2024, WVNET will have one employee reaching their years of service milestones for the State of West Virginia: 

25 years of Service to the State of West Virginia

Chris Freeman
Since December 1998, Chris has been an integral part of the WVNET Telecommunications Department. Initially stepping in as the primary field technician, Chris has journeyed to every county courthouse and college campus that WVNET has ever supported. His hands-on experience is vast: from installing modem chassis, routers, and switches to maintaining an array of communication equipment.  Not only does he install, remove, and maintain essential hardware and systems, but he also plays a pivotal role as the Data Center lead. Here, he extends his expertise to mentoring newer technicians, ensuring top-notch customer service, troubleshooting both in-house and on-site, managing phone systems, and addressing the diverse needs of the Data Center.  On the personal front, Chris has shared his life’s journey with Laura Freeman since their union in August 1996. Together, they have built a blended family, boasting five children and six grandchildren. 

Additionally, we are celebrating our wonderful employees’ service milestones (5 years +) at WVNET:  

25 Years of Service @ WVNET

Libby Cress
Chris Freeman

5 Years of Service @ WVNET

Adam McKeown

 


Promotions

John Taylor to Telecommunications Network Specialist III

John’s promotion to Telecommunications Network Specialist III is a testament to his remarkable professional growth since joining WVNET in 2022.  John previously worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons as an Electronics Technician and Atlantic Broadband LLC.  He holds an associate’s degree in Information Technology with a specialization in Routing and Switching, bolstered by a CCNA certification.  His technical proficiencies encompass telephone PBX, VOIP, fiber optic cabling, and Cisco routers and switches.  Prior to his civilian career, John served with distinction in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years as a Field Radio Operator, showcasing his dedication and commitment to honorable service.   


The summer is packed full of major deadlines for the WVNET business office.  We have quite a few contracts up for renewal effective July 1 as well as preparing for the FY24 Financial Audit which takes place in late summer/early fall.  So please keep an eye out for emails from the business office regarding renewals specific to your organization, such as for your Microsoft licenses through Crayon, as well as emails requesting information from and/or providing information to you for the audit.      

So if you need to contact anyone in the WVNET Finance-Business Office, you may reach the appropriate party at the following: 


Client Services

The West Virginia Statewide Technology Conference is slated to return in 2025. In order to provide the best conference experience possible, we are conducting a survey to assess how to best meet the needs of our attendees. Take the WVSTC 2025 Pre-Planning Survey 


Banner Support Team


Employee Report

Ellucian Live 2024 

Ellucian Live 2024 took place in San Antonio, Texas, from April 7 to 10. The conference theme was “Illuminate, Innovate, and Inspire.” This was my first experience at Ellucian Live and my first time attending a large conference, with over 6,000 participants registered. The venue was one of the largest I have ever visited. 

On the first day, keynote speaker Deon Sanders, alongside Ellucian’s COO and CEO, aimed to inspire educators and showcase available Ellucian products for institutions. Since I primarily work in Banner finance, I attended related sessions on finance and accounts receivable. Though the sessions were informative, large attendance (around 70+ people) limited time for questions and addressing user issues. 

On Day 2, Bill Nye was the keynote speaker, and the Great Eclipse was scheduled to occur. Ellucian reserved a park along the Riverwalk for attendees to watch the eclipse together, but poor weather conditions meant we could only experience a brief period of darkness. 

Day 3 featured William Shatner as the keynote speaker, wrapping up the conference as many attendees began departing after completing their sessions. 

Overall, Ellucian Live was a valuable experience with over 300 sessions available and a venue that comfortably accommodated all attendees. The location on the San Antonio Riverwalk offered beautiful scenery and great dining options. I enjoyed the sessions and the area and am looking forward to the next Ellucian Live conference. 

Cristina Shannon
Banner Finance Program Analyst,
Cristina Shannon,
attended Ellucian Live 2024
and filed this report.


Emergency Relief for Students Applying for WV Financial Aid Programs 

The financial aid application process for the 2024-2025 school year has been extremely tumultuous. Availability of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) was held up for over three months, which delayed the data availability to schools for nearly three more months. Lingering questions remain about data accuracy and concern about lack of access to the system to make corrections. The system that processes the FAFSA is working sporadically with certain categories of students unable to submit the original application or to make any necessary updates to their application. As a result, there has been a 40% decrease in the number of FAFSAs submitted by West Virginia students for 2024-2025. 

Governor Justice has declared an emergency response to this year’s financial aid disaster by announcing that the FAFSA requirement will be waived for three West Virginia state financial aid programs – only for the 2024-2025 academic year. All other requirements for those programs must be met to qualify for the funds. 

Promise Scholarship 

Basic minimum requirements to receive a $5500 Promise Scholarship include a cumulative ‘B’ high school grade point average, state residency, graduation from a West Virginia high school, minimum score of 21 on the ACT or 1080 on the SAT. Homeschooled students are also eligible. You must be a full-time student at a West Virginia college but there are some exceptions. See the detailed list of requirements and deadlines at https://www.collegeforwv.com/programs/promise-scholarship/

West Virginia Higher Education Grant

The West Virginia Higher Education Grant can provide up to $3400 and is a need-based program for West Virginia residents who are full time college students. In order to show eligibility without a processed FAFSA, students can present to their financial aid office an eligibility letter for one of the following assistance programs: SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, CHIP, Child Care Subsidy Program, or WIC. For a detailed list of other eligibility requirements, visit https://www.collegeforwv.com/programs/wv-higher-education-grant/. 

HEAPS Grant 

The HEAPS (Higher Education Assistance for Part-time Students) Grant Program. This program is for West Virginia residents who are part-time college students. Awards vary based on number of credit hours taken. Since HEAPS is need-based, the FAFSA is normally required, but for 2024-2025, need can be established by presenting an eligibility letter for one of the following assistance programs: SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, CHIP, Child Care Subsidy Program, or WIC. Additional information about this program and its requirements can be found at https://www.collegeforwv.com/programs/heaps-grant/. 

This has been a difficult year for students, families, and staff at colleges and universities, but we are working to keep WVNET’s customers apprised of developments and opportunities as they become available. 


How Are We Doing?

We Want to Hear from you!

Your satisfaction is very important to us. WVNET has implemented a customer satisfaction survey link in our OZ ticketing system. When a help ticket is closed, the reporter will receive an email update with a link to allow customers to fill out the survey, and, if desired, request a call from a manager. To access the form in the OZ email, click on the link.

If you’re not using OZ and you wish to take the survey, please feel free to complete the survey at https://wvnet.edu/satisfaction-survey/. We look forward to hearing from you. Have questions? Contact Harmony Garletts at hgarletts@staff.wvnet.edu.


The Development Team continues to make progress on various projects and professional development certifications.  

Accomplishment

Adam McKeown has completed the Treehouse Front End Development Techdegree certification.

Projects

West Virginia State University Website
Our team has been working with West Virginia State University’s University Relations department on a new university website and transition to a new content management system. The project is expected to launch over the summer. Sarah Barnes is managing the project with Lisa Bridges on design and content management, Chevee Dodd on development, and Adam McKeown on QA, documentation, training, and content management. 

WVNET Website Update

The team is excited to announce they have been working on a redesign of the WVNetwork website. The redesign will feature a new modern and responsive design that will align with our updated branding. An overhaul of the site architecture will also allow users to find information more easily, and updated content will provide answers to common customer inquiries.

Your input can help us improve the information we present on the site and its functionality. We would appreciate any feedback you can provide: Take the Survey Here


TELECOM UPDATE


John Taylor applied for and was selected for the newly created Telecommunications Network Specialist III position. John has been a Telecommunications Network Specialist III since WVNET since October 2022. In that brief time, John has become an indispensable part of the Telecomm Group, taking on projects large and small and becoming an integral part of our team. 


Kyle Atkins was promoted into the Telecomm Group 6 months ago and is quickly learning the nuances of being a Telecommunications Network Specialist I. Kyle began working for WVNET in our Network Operation Center back in September 2021 and has become a reliable part of our team. 


We have installed 2 of our 4 Transit Ring routers in preparation for upgrading to 100Gbps circuits. The devices now reside in Pittsburgh, PA at 3ROX/PSC and Columbus, OH at OARnet. The other two machines will be installed in Morgantown and Charleston, WV awaiting the completion of the 100Gbps circuits. This will increase the available bandwidth around WVNET’s high-speed Transit Ring 10-fold, to being capable of supporting 100Gbps per second.

WVNET Telecomm has been busy preparing for the migration of customers on Verizon circuits to Segra, after Segra won the WV State contract for network services. Many customers are affected and must be migrated fully by the end of this year.  


WVNET Telecomm was in the Charleston Capitol Complex for a planned WVOT power outage where we gracefully shutdown and started up the Southern half of WVNET’s network as WVOT staff installed a replacement UPS system. The outage went smoothly with all equipment returning to production with no persisting issues. 



Systems Update

Safeguarding your online assets in today’s digital world is crucial. Relying solely on passwords often isn’t sufficient anymore because hackers are becoming increasingly adept. That’s where Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) steps in to provide an additional layer of defense. Think of it as adding a secondary lock to your door for extra security. When it comes to implementing 2FA, YubiKeys stand out as a top-notch option. 

In short, a YubiKey is a small device that you can put on your keychain. It can be plugged into a computer or phone as an additional step to proving it’s really you logging into your accounts.  

YubiKeys help make your accounts super safe. They’re better than codes sent by text because tricky hackers can’t fool them. Every time you log in, you must use your connected YubiKey to prove that it is you. So, even if someone knows your password, they can’t get in without your YubiKey. 

After you connect a YubiKey to your accounts, you just plug it in or tap it on your phone when you want to log in. It’s way easier than typing long codes or dealing with juggling multiple tricky duo authentication apps. You can take them with you wherever you go without any hassle since they are built to be small and durable. 

A YubiKey can hold up to 25 secret passkeys on the device. These are unique and only on that specific YubiKey. 

YubiKeys are great because they’re compatible with a lot of websites and apps. Whether you’re checking your emails, logging into work accounts, or online shopping, YubiKeys add an extra layer of security. They can even be used with apps like Bitwarden, where you can store your important passwords securely. 

YubiKeys might require an initial purchase, but they’re definitely worth it in the long run. If someone managed to hack into your accounts and steal your information, fixing that mess could cost you a fortune. But with YubiKeys, you’re adding an extra layer of security that could save you from dealing with all that trouble and expense later on. 

In conclusion, think of YubiKeys as your personal bodyguards for keeping your accounts secure. They’re easy to use, super safe, and can be used with many different online services. By using YubiKeys, you’re ensuring that even if someone figures out your password, they won’t be able to access your accounts without your special key. It’s a smart move to protect yourself in today’s digital world. 





WVOT Planned Power Outage

April 5, 2024 beginning at 6:00 PM

UPDATE 04/05/2024 at 10:00 PM: WVOT has completed the physical UPS installation. Network connectivity has been restored and additional agency services are continuing to come back online.

*** Update Reminder from the WV Office of Technology 04/05/2024 at 07:00 AM: Just reminding everyone of the UPS Cutover this evening. As noted below, please shut down your equipment at 5:00PM today. OT will begin shutting down its equipment at 5:30PM. Power will be completely shut off in building 6 and the vault at 7 PM. We will send a communication when power is restored. Once this happens we urge everyone to bring any resources that need to be brought up and test applications etc.***

WVNET has received the following notification from the WV Office of Technology regarding power to Building 6 of the Capitol Complex in Charleston WV. The proposed scheduled maintenance will cause a complete loss of power and will affect all equipment located at this facility. This location provides internet access for customers in the southern part of the state. We will have staff on hand during this procedure to ensure downtime is kept to a minimum. Please continue to check our site and social media for additonal updates as they become available.

The West Virginia Office of Technology advises its IT Contacts and Data Center Cardholders that on Friday, April 5th, 2024 there will be a scheduled power outage of the WVOT data centers beginning at 7:00 PM. We anticipate the downtime to last approximately 2-3 hours. During this period, all services hosted in our data centers will be temporarily unavailable.

The scheduled downtime is required to install a temporary Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system. To carry out this installation safely and efficiently, we must power down the data center.

We need your help to ensure servers and IT resources are shut down gracefully. Agency Service Owners and Application Administrators should shut down agency-managed servers located in Building #6 on Friday, April 5th, 2024 beginning at 5:00PM. WVOT Staff will begin shutting down WVOT-controlled and Enterprise-wide applications beginning at 5:30PM.

Power will be completely shut off in the Building 6 Data Center and Vault at 7:00PM.

Once the UPS installation is complete and power is restored, the WVOT advises all agencies to thoroughly test their applications to ensure they are functioning as expected. If applications are not functioning as expected, please contact the WVOT Service Desk at 304-558-9966 to have the issue assigned to a technician.

We understand the impact of this data center power outage and assure you that we are working diligently to minimize the impact on IT operations. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.




RESOLVED: Circuit Provider Outage impacting network in parts of WV

UPDATE 3/9 7:47 AM: AEP successfully completed repairs and all circuits were active by approximately 11:00 PM 03/08/2024. A 2000-foot section of cable needed to be replaced in a rural area of WV that required technicians to physically climb poles and use tents for splicing instead of typically utilized machinery. The repair efforts impacted multiple circuit providers beyond those we utilize but all current operations have returned to normal. If you continue to experience issues, please contact the WVNET Help Desk for assistance.

UPDATE 3/8 2:45 PM: AEP has accessed the situation and due to the inability to get trucks to the affected area, the current estimated time to complete all repairs is 12:00 AM ET. We will provide additional updates as they become available.


UPDATE 3/8 10:51 AM: Zayo and AEP are actively working on circuit repairs that are impacting customers in the southern part of the state. Repairs have been impeded as the site is not vehicle accessible. Current estimates are that technicians will be on site at approximately noon, but no time frame on when repairs will be completed.


At approximately 3:40 PM on March 7, 2024, WVNET lost four of its 10Gbps circuits in the Columbus, Ohio area. We immediately opened tickets with the circuit providers, OARnet and Zayo. It appears that there has been a major fiber cut that has taken out these 4 circuits. While the WV State Network has remained up due to the design of our high-speed Transit Ring, customers in the South may notice higher latency and slower throughput. No ETA at this time.




WV Office of Technology Maintenance

The State of WV Office of Technology will be performing emergency maintenance on the UPS that powers the Data Center at the Capitol Campus Building 6 Room B110. This maintenance will be performed on 07 March 2023 after 1:00 PM. While loss of power is not expected to happen, there is a potential for this to occur that may affect connectivity for some customers. Please contact the WVNET Help Desk if you experience any issues.




Our Winter 2024 Newsletter


Washington’s Birthday – February 19, 2024



    For over 45 years, WVNET has strived to connect the people of West Virginia. For decades we’ve worked hard to stay at the forefront of bringing fast, reliable internet across the state. We take pride in managing the networks that link West Virginia’s schools, universities, agencies and non-profits.

    In this winter newsletter, we’re excited to update you on new strides we’re making to expand connectivity in the Mountain State. We’ve outlined major infrastructure upgrades that will increase available bandwidth and accelerate speeds – critical advances to meet our state’s growing digital needs. As our Executive Director Steven White explained, “Our continuous network evolution showcases our enduring commitment to the students, educators, agencies and residents who rely on us.”

    However, greater connectivity also brings greater vulnerability. We’re working hand-in-hand with state and national cybersecurity leaders to anticipate emerging threats and harden defenses. As threats like phishing and ransomware attacks grow in scale and sophistication globally, we urge our customers to join us in remaining vigilant. Please consider implementing protocols like DKIM and DMARC to secure email domains, conduct phishing awareness training, and require multifactor authentication. Together we can keep West Virginia safe.

    We’re also excited to share the work our development team is doing to make our online systems more accessible across generations. As more services and learning shift digital, we aim to ensure all Mountaineers can stay connected.

    The past four decades have seen immense technological change. But our mission remains the same – serving the people of West Virginia through technology. We at WVNET take pride in the pivotal role we play in empowering education, powering government, and connecting communities across the Mountain State.



    UPdate From
    the Executive Director!

    A major focus area constantly under review is continuing to be cybersecurity diligent.  WVNET continues to work with multiple agencies to ensure that information is shared. This is being achieved by working with Chief Information Officers (CIO’s) across the state and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) representatives to collaborate and provide cybersecurity reports, especially for those threats that have been actively seen across the state.  This sharing among peers helps to ensure we all learn from each other and grow stronger.    

    This year is also looking promising for continued upgrades.  In January, thanks to congressional funding, we were able to install a new uninterruptable power supply for the WVNET datacenter which ensures that systems remain operational in the event of power loss.  We are also in the process of finalizing upgrades to our network connectivity that will provide an exponential increase over the current configuration.  As we start the new year, it is important that we continue to embrace new goals and strive to ensure that WVNET is providing the best possible services for our customers.    

    And on a final note, communication is a vital key to daily operations.  This includes conversations occurring at every level within our organizations.  We all rely heavily on email for communication. This year, several entities (Google, Yahoo) are working to ensure emails are not being hijacked by implementing DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Domain-based Message Authentication (DMARC) as requirements for email domains.  WVNET has been deploying these requirements for multiple domains and we recommend our customers consider implementing them as well for applicable systems.   



    WVNET is seeking to hire a new TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK SPECIALIST 3 (on-site work required, hybrid eligible) to analyze, design, configure, install, deploy and troubleshoot LAN, WAN, Campus networks (mainly Cisco routers, switches, firewalls), associated wireless infrastructure (Extreme, Meraki), VOIP solutions (CUCM, SIP trunks, UCaaS), System Monitoring (SolarWinds NPM) and remote access (VPN ASA, AAA, TACACS, RADIUS), cloud (OCI, Azure, AWS) and associated ongoing maintenance and updating of related hardware and software.  Salary range is $70,000 – $80,000 and commensurate with experience. For full job details, qualifications, etc. and to apply, visit: https://wvnet.edu/news/careers/telecommunications-network-specialist-3/  


    Schedule of Rates

    Effective July 2023, WVNET has a new schedule of rates.
    Visit https://wvnet.edu/resources/schedule-of-rates/ to find out more.


    Department Updates

    Client Services

    How Are We Doing?

    The Client Services department at WVNET is here to help you with Banner, DegreeWorks, Brightspace, Web and Development services. Our dedicated staff is here to answer questions, as well as to solve problems. We strive to provide a high level of service. To ensure we are doing our best, we have a survey available to enable you to share your experience with us and let us know what we are doing well and what we could be doing better.

    We Want to Hear from you!

    Your satisfaction is very important to us. WVNET has implemented a customer satisfaction survey link in our OZ ticketing system. When a help ticket is closed, the reporter will receive an email update with a link to allow customers to fill out the survey, and, if desired, request a call from a manager. To access the form in the OZ email, click on the link.

    If you’re not using OZ and you wish to take the survey, please feel free to complete the survey at https://wvnet.edu/satisfaction-survey/. We look forward to hearing from you. Have questions? Contact Harmony Garletts at hgarletts@staff.wvnet.edu.

    Brightspace Creator+

    As the new year gets under way, the Distance Learning team is launching a new tool in Brightspace called Creator +. This tool is a seamless add-in to the Brightspace Learning Management System (LMS). As many of our Brightspace schools prepare for this implementation, we are excited for the opportunity to work with our customers to transform course content into dynamic content that will boost student engagement. Between now and June 30th, we will be holding working sessions for faculty to learn to use the new tools included in Creator +. For additional information, please contact Harmony Garletts at hgarletts@staff.wvnet.edu.   


    When providing online services and web-based learning, education and government institutions must ensure they don’t exclude older adults. Age-related declines in vision, hearing, dexterity, and cognition can pose barriers to accessing digital content, and the 65+ demographic continues to grow rapidly as people live longer.  

    Following web accessibility standards proactively makes websites, applications, and authoring tools usable for more people.   

    It is vital for public services like healthcare, taxes, and social welfare, to consider these segments of the population in digital systems design. All taxpayers should be able to utilize government resources online regardless of ability or age.  

    Similarly, education strives for inclusion. Distance learning continues to expand and offer greater opportunities throughout the state; however, ensuring learning management systems and online content follow accessibility principles enables older students to participate fully. Designing accessible websites and authoring tools allows older guest lecturers, teachers, and professors to contribute their expertise and remain professionally active.  

    Age diversity strengthens industries and communities. Following web accessibility guidelines helps education and government sectors live up to commitments to serve all citizens, making communities richer. Prioritizing accessibility for older users isn’t just considerate – it’s sound policy and practice.  

    Support Aging Vision  

    • Allow font size customization up to 200% without loss of content or function  
    • Use high contrast colors and avoid purely visual cues  
    • Provide adequate color contrast (WCAG conformant)  
    • Design simple, clean page layouts that reduce visual clutter  
    Accommodate Declining Dexterity  

    • Make clickable elements large and spaced apart  
    • Ensure forms and other functionality work with keyboard access  
    • Provide adequate time limits and ways to request more time  
    Compensate for Reduced Hearing  

    • Allow audio and multimedia content volume control up to 200%  
    • Provide transcripts for prerecorded audio content  
    • Don’t rely solely on audio cues; use captioning and other redundancies  
    Address Cognitive Changes  

    • Avoid long paragraphs and blocks of text  
    • Break up complex processes into clear, logical steps  
    • Use plain language and provide guidance within text  
    • Minimize distractions and avoid crowding pages  
    • Remind users of previous steps to aid memory  

    The Web Accessibility Initiative’s (WAI) guidelines address functional limitations associated with both disabilities and aging. Implementing criteria from Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG), and Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) improves access for older cohorts.  

    WCAG compliance tackles many barriers introduced by age-related disability. But consciously addressing common vision, motor, hearing and memory issues older adults face takes websites a step further in accessibility, ensuring education and government sites don’t leave them behind.  

    Reference: https://www.w3.org/WAI/older-users/  


    TELECOM UPDATE

    Since 1975, WVNET has played a pivotal role in providing centralized computing services to all public higher education campuses throughout West Virginia. Later expanding to support K12, state and local government bodies as well as non-profits; the evolution of WVNET Telecommunications continues to mirror the broader advancements in networking technologies. 

    In the 1970s, the landscape of networking underwent a significant transformation with the proliferation of Local Area Network (LAN) and Wide Area Network (WAN) technologies utilizing packet-switched methodologies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packet_switching  

    LANs were initially designed to interconnect computers and peripherals within confined areas like schools, offices, or campuses. The subsequent connection of LANs through WAN technologies paved the way for the integration of these networks into the burgeoning Internet. 

    During this period, various LAN technologies vied for standardization, but Ethernet, developed around the same time as the Internet in 1973-74 at Xerox PARC, emerged as the dominant and ubiquitous LAN standard. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethernet  

    For nearly 50 years, as technology advanced, WVNET Telecommunications adapted to the changing landscape and escalating data transmission speeds. In the early days, bandwidth and throughput was measured in bits per second (bps), and typical home and small office modems operated at speeds ranging from 300 to 56,000 bps. To serve WV’s rural communities, WVNET established a distributed statewide dialup modem pool, accessible to anyone with a telephone land line. At its height this modem service had over 18,000 customers. K12, College and University staff and students were, for the first time in history, able to access the Internet and school/work-related resources. This was truly the beginning of The Information Age for most West Virginians. 

    Technologies such as T1 through T5 (1.544 to 400Mbit/s) were created to push more and faster data across telephone lines, with DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) allowing up to 140 Megabit per second to home users. Channeling and multiplexing were introduced as methods to send multiple signals or streams of information over a single, shared medium. Eventually, phone lines were abandoned for dedicated point-to-point circuits using coaxial cables and fiber optics.  

    Today, the average WVNET customer typically connects via a 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) connection (1,000,000,000 bps), with some utilizing multiple 10 Gbps (10,000,000,000 bps) connections. 

    To meet the ever-growing demand for bandwidth and improved throughput, WVNET is on the verge of completing its Transit Ring upgrade. This upgrade signifies a shift from multiple bundles of 10 Gbps circuits to multiple 100 Gbps circuits. This enhancement will ensure more bandwidth availability and faster throughput for data transmission. Having these larger data ‘pipes’ available will also mean increasing bandwidth to and from our dual upstream ISPs will take just hours instead of weeks.  

    The continuous evolution of WVNET’s infrastructure showcases its commitment to meeting the ever-expanding connectivity needs of its customers in West Virginia. 


    Systems Update

    Phishing involves deceiving people online to gain access to information. It tricks them into giving sensitive details using fake messages, often pretending to be important people or falsifying urgent situations. There are many different types of phishing but here are some top threats to look out for:  

    • Spear Phishing: Spear phishing targets a specific group or type of individual such as a company’s Human Resources department.  
    • Whaling: Whaling is like spear phishing but is an even more targeted type of phishing that goes after the “whales” of an organization such as the CEO, CFO, or any other CXX employee.   
    • Smishing: Smishing is an attack that uses text messaging to execute the attack.   
    • Search Engine Optimization Poisoning: With this method, hackers work to become the top result on a search engine. Clicking the link within the search engine then directs you to the hacker’s website where they can then steal your information as you interact with the site and/or enter sensitive information.  
    Some ways you can protect yourself:  

    • Don’t rush to click on links or files. Review all links and files carefully.  
    • Double-check messages with another means of verification such as contacting the supposed sender via another means of communication.  
    • Don’t post too much information online.  
    • Be very careful with emails you believe are suspicious.  
    • Visit websites directly instead of clicking links received by email.  
    • Use multi-factor authentication wherever possible.  
    • Use a password manager for generating and storing unique passwords.  

    At WVNET we utilize a few additional methods for helping to keep ourselves protected from phishing attacks such as a robust email filtering system as well as doing regular simulated phishing attacks and training for all staff.   





    Important Network Updates by Upstream Provider 3ROX to take place December 19 

    UPDATE

    3ROX has completed all maintenance as of 7:15 PM 12/20/2023. Network operations have now returned to their normal state.

    Starting at 6:00 AM on December 19, you may experience suboptimal network performance to the Internet and Internet2 due to an infrastructure upgrade by our upstream provider, Three Rivers Optical Exchange, with a scheduled maintenance window of up to 36 hours. This may have an impact on services provided by WVNET.  We recommend rescheduling any significant tasks that are reliant on uninterrupted internet connectivity during this period.

    For any specific outages experienced, please contact the WVNET Help Desk at 304.293.5192 or email us at helpdesk@staff.wvnet.edu. Reporting outages will facilitate tracking and communication with our provider to ensure a swift resolution.

    We understand the impact this may have on your work, and we appreciate your patience during this upgrade. We will provide addition updates once the upgrade has been completed.