Thursday, December 8, 2011

St. Bonaventure University technology upgrade triples speed of Internet service on campus

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., Dec. 8, 2011 — St. Bonaventure University has tripled the speed of its Internet service on campus in a move aimed at meeting the expectations of students whose appetite for technology seems to know no bounds.

The university has increased its Internet connection to 300 megabits per second, which represents a three-fold increase of its Internet capacity and five times more bandwidth than was available just 18 months ago, said Michael Hoffman, executive director for Information Technology.

“Basically, this means that the speed of the Internet on campus is three times faster than it was before the upgrade,” said Hoffman.
What’s that mean for students? Plenty, said Hoffman.

“They’ll see faster web browsing, faster web gaming, faster delivery of video, faster delivery of audio – basically, faster delivery of any Internet content a student would consume, which is a lot,” said Hoffman.

Students arrive on campus today with an array of technology based devices such as laptop computers, iPads, iPods, e-readers, web-based gaming systems and smart phones, all built to take advantage of wireless Internet networks.
And while students are using these devices to access the Web for academic purposes, they’re also turning to the Internet for escape from the daily grind.

Joseph Harrington, president of the Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education, said a significant amount of student traffic on the Internet is not academic driven. At Boston College, where Harrington is director of network service, an estimated 70 percent of Internet bandwidth is consumed by video streaming and downloading. “The vast majority of that is purely entertainment,” said Harrington.

It’s a similar story at St. Bonaventure, said Hoffman. “I’d say that the Internet is probably the No. 1 recreational resource our students consume on campus, as evidenced by the fact that our Internet enjoys extremely high utilization until 2 in the morning,” he said.
Fast Internet service is an expectation among incoming students these days.

“The majority of them are coming from households that have access to wireless high-speed Internet and they want to know that they’re going to get something similar here,” said Hoffman.

At 300 megabits per second, St. Bonaventure ranks favorably among similarly sized, and even bigger, institutions in regard to Internet delivery, he said. “Relative to our peer group of colleges and universities, we are definitely in a leadership position,” said Hoffman, noting one nearby regional university just upgraded its Internet connection to 200 megabits per second.

Hoffman said the university will continue to review its technology offerings and implement upgrades as necessary.

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