Networking Noob

An appeal to those more Tech Savvy

I’m having Internet problems at work, and I’m at a loss on how to fix the issue.

We have inbound DSL service from our local provider that comes into a modem in our telecomm room. The modem is attached to a switch, which has five outputs, three are in use: one to our offices, one to our elementary classroom building, and one to our upper grades building.

The first two are situated within 50 feet of the switch and are fine. The upper grade building has internet delivered via Cat5 cable in an uninsulated PVC conduit about 100 feet to my classroom. It terminates in a wall jack from the exterior wall to the building.

This plug is located in my classroom. I normally have a dual band router connected to it, which provides internet for up to 12 laptops in the classroom. Across the hall, two classrooms also pull some signal.

Obviously, the school is getting signal from our provider if the other two buildings have connectivity. However, the upper building is a problem and we need to resolve the issue.

The steps I’ve taken so far:

To troubleshoot, I plugged a Cat5 cable from the wall jack directly into my Macbook Pro. No luck in getting a signal. I then repeated this with school owned PC laptop, which was also unsuccessful. The third attempt with a different school owned PC laptop worked-but the signal varied, typically I was getting packets of 10mbps.

A fourth computer was hooked up, and it got 100mbps. As it was successful, I moved to checking the router, plugging the cable into the router, and then another Cat5 into the laptop that had successfully pulled up Internet. This was unsuccessful.

I’ve tried this with three different machines, and after each failed attempt, I’ve tried to pull up the Internet directly from the source with Cat5, taking the router out of the loop. Most of the time, there has been no signal.

This indicates to me that we have intermittent bandwidth outages. Am I wrong?

Is there another way to configure a router, for instance, can I configure it in one of our working lines, then move it to this location?

What else should I be looking for to resolve this issue?

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