Clarkson's new data center reliability untouched by Time Warner problems; Gov. Cuomo investigating outage
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 4:27 pm

POTSDAM -- Time Warner Cable service outages today have caused have caused problems for North Country users and people across the U.S.

But it has also provided a selling point for Clarkson University's new data center and online courses.

And Gov. Andrew Cuomo is using the outage to point out his administration’s official review of a possible merger between Time Warner and Comcast, another large internet and cable TV provider.

Time Warner Cable said today it was experiencing widespread trouble in its delivery of services around the country, and North Country customers say it has had effects on their service.

But Clarkson said their campus and its facilities continued to operate because the university maintains connection not only with Time Warner, but also local broadband provider Slic Network Solutions, based in Nicholville, and other “upstream providers.”

This means that Clarkson’s online courses and its new data center continued to operate even without Time Warner’s service.

“Here at Clarkson we are a globally connected campus," said Chief Information Officer Joshua Fiske in a statement from the university. "We have a wide variety of programs that are offered by distance, including our world-renowned online MBA and master of science in engineering management programs. We also have many researchers who collaborate with colleagues at other institutions of higher education around the globe. So it is very important to us as an institution to stay well-connected to the internet. Today’s TWC outage left many folks disconnected from the internet, but Clarkson was able to remain online with folks around the world not noticing any interruption in service.”

This is an important selling point for the university’s new data center, installed in Old Main, a lovely sandstone building in the cluster of Clarkson’s downtown buildings.

Clarkson is offering world-class server hosting to commercial customers and other local, regional and national higher education and research institutions and commercial customers, so continuous and uninterrupted service is a very desirable feature. In addition to backup electrical service and other protections and redundancies, being able to tell potential clients that Time Warner’s shortcomings are not likely to be an impediment to service are a plus.

The data center, a collection of component racks for secure data storage, telecommunications and other systems, offers what in the business is called “colocation” for clients, or rented space for racks in the data center alongside rented space for racks from other entities.

Clarkson is calling the service “colo@Old Main,” with more information at www.oldmaincolo.com.

Meanwhile Gov. Cuomo is taking the opportunity to reassure New Yorkers that Time Warner’s failure has not escaped his scrutiny.

“Today's widespread internet outage that has apparently impacted more than 11 million customers at Time Warner – which is based in New York – is a stark reminder that our economy is increasingly dependent on a reliable broadband network. That is one of the reasons why I pushed for a stronger standard of review for cable company mergers earlier this year,” the governor is quoted a saying in a press release.

Cuomo said he is instructing the Department of Public Service to “investigate this outage as part of its review of Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner. The Department will also review whether the outage affected Time Warner's provision of telephone service in any way. In addition, the Department will include its analysis of this event in its ongoing study of the telecom industry, which is exploring potential changes to the regulatory landscape pertaining to telephone, internet and cable.

“Dependable internet service is a vital link in our daily lives and telecommunications companies have a responsibility to deliver reliable service to their customers,” Cuomo said.

According to CBS News and the Wall Street Journal late this afternoon, Time warner is reporting the problems are largely resolved.