Reflection on Bandwidth

Just heard a story on OPB this morning about how an ISP wants to charge the heavy residential bandwidth users for their excessive downloads. Independent ISP’s can consider this type of move to help survive for a while longer, but it is just a matter of time before the big players such as Verizon, Comcast, Quest, etc control all this.

But it made me reflect on the role Internet bandwidth has played in dealing with our student customers. Today our students are in bandwidth nirvana. They are eating up our 100+ MBit of Internet Bandwidth with no memories of the frustrations that they faced just a few years earlier when our world was dictated by T1s. So I kind of pieced together the higher education bandwidth milestones as might have been interpreted by a prospective student. This timeline starts at the beginning of the Internet and moves through current day.

1. Can’t wait to become a student just to have an option for a modem account
2. Can’t wait to be on campus to be able to use an Ethernet connection
3. Modem from home is cool, but the University’s campus Internet connection is blazingly fast.
4. Campus network has issues; maybe the home modem option is best.
5. Why can’t I have as much bandwidth at school as I do at home with my parent’s DSL or cable?
6. OK, this is what I expect for my campus connection.

The lesson is basically that we will constantly be trying to keep up with the student expectations. And the new high bandwidth entertainment oriented residential services will again push us to catch up.

About ghsmith76

Greg Smith is currently the Interim CIO at Western Washington University. Prior to WWU Greg was the CIO at Missouri S&T, and before that the CIO for George Fox University in Newberg, OR. Greg went to the Northwest from the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology in Indianapolis, IN. where he served as the Director of IT for 8 years. Prior to the IT career in Academia, Greg was a Systems Consultant with Hewlett-Packard primarily with the Analytical Group working out of San Francisco,Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Greg's passion as a CIO in Higher Education comes from his belief that Technology can benefit Teaching & Learning.

Posted on April 18, 2008, in Bandwidth. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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