US campuses strive to keep up with students' data demand

September 29, 2011

A number of US institutions are in a state of perpetual upgrade, introducing more Internet capacity and mobile access points to keep up with the needs of increasingly mobile students and faculty. Experts say the real issue is not the growing array of devices students bring to campus, but the video-based content they're going after. "At the end of the day, we want (students) to have good capacity for recreation," says an official at St. Louis-based Washington University, which doubled its bandwidth this summer. "They live here, too. We want to make sure they are doing what they want to do." Hesitant to put individual caps on student usage, some institutions focus on controlling traffic during peak hours, while ensuring academic needs are still met. Student expectations also frame the way colleges think when renovating or building new classrooms and dormitories; plans include enough wireless access points and additional plug-ins to accommodate students' multiple devices. This summer, Cornell University students petitioned the institution to remove its Internet bandwidth cap. St. Louis Post Dispatch