The CITE, a blog published by the National Association of College Stores, takes a look at the intersection of education and technology, highlighting issues that range from course materials to learning delivery to the student experience. Comments, discussion, feedback, and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tablets Eat Up Campus Bandwidth

A report from MarketingCharts found that each college student now brings an average of seven mobile devices with them to school, up from 6.4 just a year ago. That increase is making it tough for campuses to keep up with the IT demands.

Just how tough was spelled out in the 2013 State of ResNet Report from the Association of Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education and the National Association of College and University Business Officers. The survey found that 84% of respondents felt tablet computers would consume the most bandwidth in the coming years, with laptop and desktop computers coming in second at 75%, followed by video systems, such as Blue-ray players (64%), smartphones (63%), and video games (61%).

“There is an expectation right now among students of, ‘Any device, any time, as much as we want,’” Joe Harrington, director of network services at Boston College, told eCampus News. “This has [IT officials] back on their heels a little bit, looking for ways to deal with this proactively rather than reactively.”

Nearly 80% of the 251 responding campuses allow students to connect an unlimited number of devices, up from 68% in 2012, with just 14% capping the number of connections at five devices or fewer. In addition, 42% of the campuses allow residents to extend the network with the use of hubs, servers, or routers.

The report also found that while most schools are concerned with their long-term ability to provide bandwidth, few have plans to address it anytime soon. In fact, 44% of respondents said they have no plans for bandwidth growth.

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