Wi-Fi a critical element for student recruitment and research
- A recent survey of campus IT officials at more than 330 two and four-year universities reveals that IT budgeting remains as a primary point of concern since the economic downturn of 2008 — and that critical services like Wi-Fi provision should be a priority supported through creative resource management.
- Reorganizing wireless controllers, adjusting the throttle threshold for download speeds to match campus usage trends, and capping per-student bandwidth are methods for controlling usage and costs.
- These efforts can free up access for researchers who demand space for collaborative working and project management.
Considerations for wifi access can sometimes extend beyond the campus. MIT recently made wireless Internet access a part of its community development strategy, with an eye towards future expansion of its campus borders. With the expansion of distance learning and virtual reality as key components to academic development, investments in IT and wireless provision will emerge as more of a priority for leadership and finance.
To accommodate this growing need and to ensure that campuses remain protected from cyberattack threats that are sure to increase along with user access, special considerations could include additional IT personnel, elevating CIO positions to higher levels and salaries comparable with provosts, and more training mechanisms to help students and faculty better understand their roles in network protection.
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