College and university IT departments know students using smartphones and tablet computers to play games or stream movies eat up plenty of bandwidth. However, traditional computers are the biggest bandwidth hogs, according to a new report from the Association for College and University Technology Advancement and the Association of Colleges and University Housing Officers-International.
The survey of IT leaders, housing officers, and business officers at more than 360 colleges and universities for 2016 State of ResNet found that computers consumed 58.6% of the bandwidth used on campus. Tablet computers came next, at 57.7%, and mobile phones were third at 55.2%.
Participants were asked to rank devices by the severity of bandwidth consumption on a 1-10 scale with 8-10 being the area that used the most. The 58.6% result is down from the 76.5% the category registered in 2015, but it was the second year in a row that traditional computers topped the list.
“In previous years of the study, tablets were forecast as the largest bandwidth consumer in the years to come,” wrote authors of the report. “However, these past two years show a change as desktop and laptop computers take over the top spot and are now gateways to many disruptive applications, which may require even more bandwidth than ever before. Through these devices, students have found a larger canvas for complex games, virtual learning, 3-D modeling software, computer animation, or simply storing photos and videos.”
Nearly 49% of the IT professionals surveyed said that media devices such as Roku and Apple TV were in the severe 8-10 range, while gaming systems rounded out the top five at 41.9%. Just 7.4% of the respondents put e-readers in the 8-10 category.