Student bandwidth demands create cost, access concern for campuses
- Colleges nationwide seek ways to monitor, pay for campus bandwidth as demand increases among students for streaming services.
- Cornell University has adopted an overage fee system for students who exceed a 150GB monthly bandwidth allowance.
- Blocking streaming capacity could make a difference in recruiting, as many students consider wireless access a key factor in their college choice, according to a recent survey.
WiFi access is probably the single-biggest concern among college students, beyond campus safety, food quality and academic engagement. Campus leaders who have or can find the means to upgrade this essential function can benefit in making it an IT priority, but particularly if upgrades can be done with support or sponsorship from vendors or corporate benefactors.
Upgrading wireless access also means new considerations for budget and security to protect the network, mostly from students accessing harmful websites or hacking systems. As schools like Columbia and Oakland have discovered, keeping up with innovation and security strategy is not an easy task.