March 2005
Vol. 22, No. 1

A Technology Newsletter for Extension Specialists

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Connectivity Update #2
by Joe Lear

In August, 2004, we told you that 48 counties were scheduled to receive faster bandwidth through DSL provided by commercial providers. Since that time we have managed to connect 64 counties with faster bandwidth through DSL, cable Internet, or wireless Internet providers. We are still waiting final installation on one county due to construction issues with the provider which will bring our total to 65. Download speeds vary from 384Kb to 3Mb and upload speeds are between 128Kb and 512Kb.

We also have 6 offices sharing bandwidth through the county courthouse Internet service or through the college campuses where the Extension Centers are housed.

Two Extension Offices (Marion and Buchanan) have been setup to share the T-1 lines at the Regional offices. This was accomplished through a wireless network bridge between the two sites. Each site has an antenna on the roof or in a window that has an open line of sight to the other office. An access point at the regional office and a workgroup bridge at the county office allow the Internet connection to be shared.

We are currently in the process of bidding the remaining counties for DSL, wireless, or cable Internet service. We have requested that MOREnet proceed with this process. The following Counties in the final bid are Adair, Atchison, Barry, Benton, Bollinger, Butler, Boone, Callaway, Chariton, Clay, Cooper, Daviess, Gasconade, Greene, Hickory, Howell, Jefferson, Knox, Lewis, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Morgan, New Madrid, Perry, Phelps, Ray, Ripley, Schuyler, Scotland, Scott, Shelby, St. Charles, Stone, Sullivan, and Wayne counties. As soon as the bids are returned and accepted, we will begin to notify each county and make sure the proper equipment is sent to each office.

When the high speed Internet access is installed in your county, new equipment will be installed. This equipment will consist of a DSL\Cable\Wireless Modem and a DSL\Cable Router. When the line is installed and the equipment arrives, we will walk you through the installation of this equipment. We will then make changes to the server to work with the new connection and walk you through changes necessary for your desktop and laptop computers to work with the new configuration.

One change you will notice after moving to the new connection is the way you log into the computer. To make sure you have connectivity to your Q, R, and S drives and have access to e-mail we will have you start up the Cisco VPN software that has been installed on your computers (the Extension VPN shortcut many of you have asked about). After we make the changes to your computer, the software will appear in the lower left hand corner of your computer screen after you press CTRL+ALT+DEL to login. Before you type in your password, Click the Connect button on this software, wait for it to disappear, and then login. The VPN software creates a secure connection between your computer and the Columbia Campus. This connection is necessary because many of the Commercial ISPís are no longer allowing Microsoft Networking to travel across their connections. Microsoft Networking is necessary for you to authenticate to get access to your network drives as well as e-mail. The VPN allows you to authenticate by creating a direct and secure connection to campus and allows authentication to occur. This is the only change you should see to the way you use your computer except for higher speeds when accessing the Internet, the S drive, and e-mail.

If we do not get a bid back for your county, we will work with you to try and locate a local provider that may have been missed during the bid process or another alternative that may work for your office.


Last Revised: 08/04/08



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