Today’s college students arrive on campus expecting fast and reliable Internet connection. At the same time, many institutions have implemented bring-your-own-device policies that make providing the connection even more important.
The mix of educational needs and recreational usage is stretching network capacity to the limit. In order to work efficiently, networks must be able to prioritize what usage is important and even block what isn’t, according to a column for eCampus News.
The first step in addressing the problem is to understand current usage, according to Bruce Miller, vice president, product marketing, for Xirrus Wi-Fi Network. Miller identified streaming media, cloud backups and updates, virtual private networks (VPN), and social media as the applications that are the biggest bandwidth hogs an institution must deal with. Streaming media, such as movies, is the largest problem, but cloud backups can also be an issue because they move gigabytes of data at a time.
“True enterprise Wi-Fi systems must have the ability to identify, prioritize, and limit applications appropriately to ensure a good user experience for those who use the network and approach utility-grade nirvana,” Miller wrote.