Questa School District’s internet connection quagmire
For several weeks, officials at Questa Independent Schools say the district has largely been without internet causing serious interruptions in the day-to-day process of starting the school year.
The district has been working with internet provider Kit Carson Internet as well as Plan B to resolve the situation; however, no party has been able to confirm why the district is without a stable internet connection. Officials from Kit Carson say the issue is not on their end while the district is saying there may be some overlooked previous mechanical issues.
“Our internet problem, we’re going on our fifth week,” said Felipe Blea, Tuesday (Aug. 21) at a school board meeting. “We have it one day, we lose it. This is getting to be a constant headache because I am not able to see what’s over here or over there.”
Blea is the head of four district schools including Questa High School, Alta Vista Elementary and Intermediate Schools and Rio Costilla Southwest Learning Academy. He said the internet issues have gone on too long.
Since July, the district said they have had issues with their internet, which connects all the schools near the administration building. Without internet, the school board has been unable to access email on-site, causing administrators like superintendent LeAnne Salazar to have to leave in search of a stable internet connection.
According to Salazar, the internet outage caused a delay in the registration of students, but the district overcame the issue and has been working around the connection problems. Board members are often unable to access their emails and other documents via internet at the meetings.
“Five weeks is waiting four and a half weeks too long,” board president Daryl Ortega said during the meeting.
Kit Carson crews have traveled to Questa a number of times to fix the connection issues that started in July due to several unique circumstances.
“Service in Questa has been up and has been stable,” said Kit Carson Division Manager Andrew Gonzales. “We’ve proven that to the school. It has to be something on their internal network.”
While crews work to locate the exact issue, officials from Kit Carson did acknowledge two events in the Questa area that cause internet outages to several customers.
Crews were called due to an outage July 26 that was caused by a gunshot to the fiber optic line. According to Gonzales, this issue was resolved within 12 hours.
High winds in the Questa area July 29 blew lines around and at some point, the fiber optic line connected with an electrical line that damaged internet connection. Kit Carson replaced 1,500 feet of line within 15 hours.
According to Gonzales, connections have been established from Kit Carson, and the internet is flowing from the provider to the district. IT technicians from Plan B Networks are also on scene trying to see what the connection issues are.
“If I can’t fix it, nobody else can,” said Luis Prieto, Plan B vice president of operations.
During the meeting, Ortega said he didn’t see a reason to terminate the district’s contract with Kit Carson and will await results from the crews.
Despite the issues with the technology, Salazar said the school year is going on as planned. Temporary connections have been established at the schools to assist students and staff, but the administration internet service is sporadic.
“I can see that it’s going to be a very positive school year,” Salazar said during the meeting.