Broadband Opportunities on Campus

April 20, 2015
According to a study of broadband and WiFi usage on college campuses, funding, bandwidth and outsourcing are all on the upswing. Schools ...
According to a study of broadband and WiFi usage on college campuses, funding, bandwidth and outsourcing are all on the upswing. Schools are also increasingly on the lookout for ways to improve value and performance.

The study, the fourth installment in a five-year study to measure residential network (ResNet) practices and policies in higher education, was published by the Association for College and University Technology Advancement, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and the Association of College and University Housing Officers - International.

Among the findings:

  • Bandwidth and WiFi - Reaching New Heights: For the first time, more than half of the schools surveyed (51.5%) dedicate at least 1 Gb to ResNet. This is double the number from 2012, when only 25.5% of schools did so.
  • More Bandwidth-Management Practices than Ever: Despite funding increases, the use of more bandwidth-dependent devices continues to challenge universities. The result: All bandwidth-management practices are on the rise. The most popular methods are limited by protocol and blocking activities such as p2p sharing and music downloading. Some 55% of institutions that provide their own bandwidth also limit and/or shape bandwidth, compared with 21% that have outsourced their ResNet.
  • Round-the-Clock Support is Rare: Less than 15% of schools provide 24/7 support. However, 68% of schools that have outsourced their ResNet have 24/7 support compared with 9% of schools with in-house networks.
  • Outsourcing Nearly Doubles: With the increased volume of traffic and devices, as well as the need for support, schools are looking outside their walls to provide service. The number of schools outsourcing or considering outsourcing has nearly doubled from 22% in 2013 to 38% in 2015.
  • Funding Grows Year to Year: More institutions saw an increase in ResNet funding, jumping from 38% in 2014 to 54% in 2015.
  • Security Lacks Strong Presence: While security remains a top priority for business officers, there is no information security or internal audits team in place at three out of four schools responding to the survey.
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