Schools face new bandwidth challenges as connectivity demands grow

Dive Brief:

  • As college campuses increase bandwidth for students on their residential networks, the demand for more bandwidth continues to rise, putting some institutions in a bind to provide sufficient resources.
  • The recent State of ResNet survey shows wearable devices, including fitness trackers, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices registering on campus admins' radar for the first time. Smartphones, tablets and laptops are still considered the most bandwidth-consuming devices, however.
  • Campuses are now dedicating about three times the amount of bandwidth to their ResNet than they were in 2012, thanks in part to "bandwidth-greedy" applications, such as streaming services. More than 70% of schools now offer at least 1 GB to the ResNet.

Dive Insight:

Strong, ever-growing networks are the backbone behind any campus connectivity plan, meaning that as devices and bandwidth-heavy apps proliferate, schools can keep up with the demand. But adding extra bandwidth across the board might not always be the smartest solution, especially as usage data can pinpoint peak times when streaming services, for example, are being utilized the most, allowing network administrators to spread out bandwidth allocation.

Some schools separate traffic between residential and classroom networks, helping reduce some of the strain. Experts also recommend taking a fresh look at network scopes to see where and how bandwidth is being consumed compared to a year a two ago.

Filed Under: Higher Ed
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