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IT Network Connectivity Research Paper

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Updated: May 30th, 2022

Digital cable modem services often offer much greater access and speed than conventional telephone modems. However, the Colorado University Chemistry Department is experiencing problems with both these two parameters i.e. accessibility and speed. The paper shall look into possible causes and some recommendations are given about how to solve such problems.

Possible causes

One reason could be that Colorado’s University Chemistry Department’s connectors and splitters are in poor condition. It is likely that there are several users connected to one single cable line and those users are normally connected through a connector. Splitters are also particularly instrumental in allowing several cable inputs. These two types of devices are normally problematic when they have become loose or when some foreign objects are attached to them. Such connectors or splitters tend to cause losses in connectivity from time to time because of the noise interference that they may bring. (Boyes & Hellberg 35)

Sometimes, there may be a problem with the computer itself that eventually manifests itself in the form of a slow internet connection. For instance, there could be some spyware that is operating within the Chemistry Department’s computers. Such spyware is often responsible for detecting internet usage and for sending ads to one’s computer. In the process of doing these, they mess up one’s processing power by using it up for noncore functions within the computer. When spyware has increased to unprecedented levels, then the internet connection can be extremely slow or the computer itself can shut down.

Another problem that could have led to slow and sometimes unavailable internet is the issue of USB conflicts. Since the chemistry department has switched from an Ethernet connection to a digital cable modem service, then the type of cable used to connect its computers to a cable modem is probably a universal serial cable. Consequently, this method has eliminated the need to possess a network card. However, it has also created other problems in internet connectivity. In the event that the Chemistry department users employ printers or mice connected to USB ports, then it is likely that this could lead to a jangled-up communication system. Normally, the error message manifests itself in terms of unavailable internet or very slow connection.

When computers utilize old firmware, then chances are that the cable modem may lack adequate support to be able to complete its functions in due time. The major difference between firmware and other processing software such as Microsoft is that they require frequent updates. If an internet user fails to update his or her firmware, then the cable modem can register several challenges. Examples include computer errors, packet losses, haphazard power cycling among other things. (Sadiku 45)

Sometimes internet connectivity may be unavailable or too slow if the Department is using an improperly configured router. In other words, this significantly reduces the cable’s speed and overall internet speed. The problem is worsened even more when there are several computers attached to the internet connector.

How to restore speed and accessibility enjoyed by users initially

Once a technician has checked through the splitters or connectors and found that they could be causing the problem then it is one’s duty to rectify such devices by placing them in the right position. Sometimes packet losses may be brought about by excessively high temperatures that lead to interference. This is largely because the materials used to make these products are sensitive to high temperatures and it would therefore be feasible to consider placing them in an area that is not exposed to too much heat.

There are numerous antiviral or antispyware programs in the market today. Once a technician/ engineer realizes that this could be the problem, then it would be favorable to install such programs. These products normally protect the computer automatically and update themselves automatically as well. (Bates 12)

One way in which the Chemistry Department can deal with the problem of a communication error in its USB port is to look for another cable. The latter users were previously connected through an Ethernet cable. Consequently, the Ethernet card is still available to internet users and can be used in the process of connecting the University’s computers to their cable modem. It should be noted here that the Ethernet card will simply be a backup to the original modem cable.

If the computer engineer or technician finds out that the internet connection could be caused by outdated firmware, then the best route would be to update the firmware. The process of updating largely depends on the type of manufacturer that sold the firmware.

If it has been discovered that the cable’s router is improperly configured, then the most effective course of action would be to reconfigure it to ensure that it is in good order. (Gaskin 61)

Several technicalities could have caused a slow and unavailable internet connection for the Colorado Chemistry department. These issues are best addressed systematically i.e. the computer technician/ engineer should start with obvious causes such as spyware and old computer software. If these concerns are addressed and there are still no positive changes, the technician should then look into the connector/ splitter matter followed by the router issue and lastly, he should handle the problems with USB configurations that needs to be addressed.


Boyes, Truman. & Hellberg, Chris. Broadband network architectures. New York: Routledge, 2007.

Bates, Regiss. Broadband telecommunications handbook. NY : Free Press, 2002.

Sadiku, Matthew. Introduction to Broadband communication systems. Oxford: Oxford University press, 2007.

Gaskin, James. Broadband Bible. NY: Wiley and Sons publishers, 2005.

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