Students' data demand a strain on residential networks, US survey suggests

March 27, 2012

As more students go to college equipped with smartphones and tablets, residential computing networks are trying to keep up with data demand. A new US survey suggests this trend can strain network resources, forcing some PSE institutions to upgrade their equipment. 68% of 255 campus technology professionals surveyed said they allowed students unlimited access to their residential networks, while just 19% said they limited the bandwidth available to mobile and network devices. Half of the respondents said they paid to supply bandwidth, but did not recover their investment. Respondents said their top concerns were the rising popularity of mobile devices, the growing thirst for bandwidth, and the demand for better wireless coverage. According to the report, several technology administrators surveyed suggested that students' activities on their devices -- such as watching steaming video -- matter more than the specific gadget they use. The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access)